Ireland head coach Andy Farrell does not expect to find out for some time whether he will be a coach on 2021 British and Lions to South Africa.
Farrell has been defense coach on the last two tours under Warren Gatland, who will again take charge next year. Rugby fans can book British Irish lions tickets on our website on exclusively discounted prices.
“Things don’t get sorted out until Warren is quite sure at the end of the next Six Nations what he would want in his squad and his staff,” said Farrell.
“There’s no point second-guessing, I’ve learned that down the years with him.”
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Farrell has received plaudits for his role in the last two Lions tours and is yet to experience a series defeat after the tourists beat Australia in 2013 then drew with then-world champions New Zealand four years later.
Despite having a good relationship with Gatland, the rugby league icon is not taking anything for granted in terms of his involvement next summer.
“Warren’s a friend of mine and we speak from time to time,” added Farrell, who became Ireland head coach last year.
“I’ve enjoyed working with him and he’d be somebody that I speak to along the way anyway.
“But he always keeps his cards close to his chest.”
The coronavirus pandemic has prompted a new look for the international rugby calendar, with Ireland set to play six games in seven weeks this autumn after the 2019-20 club season is belatedly brought to a conclusion.
With the next 12 months set to be busy to unprecedented levels as competitions seek to make up for a lost time, Farrell anticipates the high volume of matches will see a larger pool of players come into contention for a place on the Lions tour.
“It’s a hell of a year which finishes with what I’d imagine is everyone’s dream,” he said.
“If you’ve got aspirations to play international rugby, I’m sure you aspire to be a British and Irish Lion.
“I know what Warren is like if somebody grabs the bull by the horns at the start of the season and continues that over a long old period of this season, anything can happen.”
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