'Warren Gatland in good position to lead British and Irish Lions'

Gareth Davies and Warren Gatland
Gareth Davies (left) was appointed Welsh Rugby Union chairman in October 2014

Warren Gatland's British and Irish Lions experience puts him in a good position to lead them again, according to selector Gareth Davies.

Welsh Rugby Union chairman Davies is on the panel to choose the Lions coach for next summer's tour to world champions New Zealand.

"Experience of doing something will stand you in good stead," Davies told BBC Sport.

Wales head coach Gatland led the Lions to a series win in Australia in 2013.

New Zealander Gatland has been named as the leading contender for the job by Lions chief executive John Feehan.

Under Gatland, the Lions secured their first series win for 16 years in Australia in 2013 and famously dropped centre Brian O'Driscoll from a series-clinching third and final Test victory.

British and Irish Lions
The British and Irish Lions beat Australia 41-16 to clinch the 2013 Test series

Davies, who toured South Africa with the Lions in 1980, says Gatland's previous stint in charge of the Lions proved he was not scared to make big decisions.

"He made some tough calls on that trip," Davies said in an interview with BBC Radio Wales Sport.

"The Brian O'Driscoll thing was world news and he also made a tough call before the tour in not taking Shaun Edwards, who has been his lieutenant from a defensive point of view with Wales and Wasps.

"In terms of making tough decisions I don't think that can be called into question at all."

Davies also revealed the WRU gave Gatland a chance to change his Wales backroom team before Rob Howley and Robin McBryde were given new three-year contracts, which were announced in June.

The duo have helped Wales win three Six Nations titles and reach the World Cup semi-finals in 2011 and quarter-finals in 2015.

"We sat down with Warren to find out where he stood and did he want to refresh the team," Davies said.

"He gave it a lot of thought and he was comfortable with the progress that Rob and Robin McBryde in particular had made in the previous two years and justified their continuation."

Listen to the full interview with Gareth Davies on BBC Radio Wales Sport from 19:00 BST on Friday, 15 July.

Top Stories