Gatland names Howley, Farrell and Borthwick as Lions assistants


British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland has named Rob Howley, Andy Farrell and Steve Borthwick as his assistants for next year's tour to New Zealand.

Howley, part of the past two tours, was handed the Wales reins after Gatland stepped aside to focus his attentions on the Lions, but the pair will be reunited for the trip to the southern hemisphere.

Ireland defence coach Farrell was part of Gatland's backroom staff for the 2-1 series victory over Australia in 2013, while Borthwick is the forwards coach in Eddie Jones' England set-up.

"It's been challenging in terms of I've spoken to a lot of people and one of the things I've said is, two points, one is continuity and the other about adding fresh faces, and we feel we've got a good mix," said Gatland.

"I'm really excited about the quality of people we've got involved and also the performances of the northern hemisphere teams in the Autumn Internationals."

Howley said: "It's the pinnacle of the coaching career. To work with both Steve and Andy, the experiences we've had as coaches, it's something we look forward to.

"The modern Test game requires you to score 28, 30 points and that's going to be the challenge going to New Zealand.

"The intent and the ambition will have to be there. Ireland showed the way by scoring 40 points and five tries over in Chicago, and that's going to be the challenge."

Borthwick added: "The Lions is special. To never be involved as a player I thought it had passed, but to be involved as part of the coaching team is an honour. We have the potential to build a great forward pack."

Incoming Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend revealed last week that he had turned down the chance to form part of Gatland's staff, but the head coach hopes to make further additions soon.

He said: "The next couple of months we want to add some specialist people into the coaching set-up. There's no rush at the moment, just making sure we speak to the right people and get their release to strengthen what's important."