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Andy Farrell confirmed as British & Irish Lions coach for tour of Australia

Andy Farrell will succeed Warren Gatland as coach of the British & Irish Lions  (Getty Images)
Andy Farrell will succeed Warren Gatland as coach of the British & Irish Lions (Getty Images)

Andy Farrell will coach the British & Irish Lions on the 2025 tour to Australia.

The Ireland head coach will take a sabbatical from his role to take charge of the quadrennial touring side, succeeding Warren Gatland, who had been head coach for the last three tours.

The former dual-code international was part of Gatland’s staff as a defence coach in 2013 and 2017, before taking over the Ireland job in 2019.

He led them to a grand slam triumph in last year’s Six Nations and a narrow defeat to New Zealand in the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup.

Farrell will now oversee the three-Test series Down Under and the series of warm-up games that precede it, including a first-ever Lions fixture on Irish soil against Argentina in Dublin.

“It is a tremendous honour and a privilege to be named head coach of The British & Irish Lions,” Farrell said ahead of his unveiling in London. “I know how special Lions tours are having been involved in the 2013 and 2017 tours, so I am delighted to get the chance to lead the team in 2025.”

“There is a wealth of talent across Britain and Ireland, and I am looking forward to building a team that can deliver the ultimate goal of success in Australia. I also want to thank the Irish Rugby Football Union for their support in allowing me to accept this prestigious opportunity.”

The 48-year-old is set to become only the second Englishman since the Second World War to coach the Lions (Clive Woodward, 2005).

Farrell began his coaching career at Saracens after concluding a glittering career in league and union at the Premiership club.

Andy Farrell led Ireland to a Six Nations grand slam last year (Getty Images)
Andy Farrell led Ireland to a Six Nations grand slam last year (Getty Images)

He stepped up into Stuart Lancaster’s England staff in 2012, but departed with the rest of the coaching group after a pool stage exit at the 2015 World Cup.

Farrell subsequently took on a role as defence coach under Joe Schmidt in Dublin, and was announced as the New Zealander’s successor in 2018.

Since taking charge, he has guided Ireland to an historic series win in New Zealand, two Triple Crowns and that grand slam victory.

He takes the role with the blessing of the Irish Rugby Football Union, with performance director David Nucifora confirming last year that he would be “ecstatic” if Farrell was appointed.

The series against Australia begins with the first Test in Brisbane on 19 July 2025. The second and third Tests will take place in Melbourne and Sydney.