Rowntree set for Lions coaching role


Graham Rowntree has been lined up for a role in Warren Gatland’s British & Irish Lions backroom team ahead of the tour of New Zealand.

ESPN understands former prop Rowntree is set to join a coaching team that includes Andy Farrell, Rob Howley and Steve Borthwick for what will be his third tour as a Lions coach.

Gatland has been looking for an additional coach and it is believed Rowntree’s role will see him work in tandem with England coach Borthwick, focusing on the forwards and set piece. The appointment will also see him link up with his former England colleague Farrell, who is now with Ireland.

The move brings the continuity Gatland has talked about ahead of the three-Test tour of New Zealand as Farrell, Howley and Rowntree all coached under him in 2013 on their series win in Australia.

Rowntree is currently forwards coach at Harlequins, a role he took on after leaving England in the wake of the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

He is well versed in the Lions having toured with them as a player in 1997 and 2005 — winning two Test caps — and then as a coach under Sir Ian McGeechan in 2009 and Gatland in 2013.