Rob Howley: Wales coach will benefit from joining Lions staff - Gareth Davies

Rob Howley
Rob Howley (left) joins Andy Farrell and Steve Borthwick as assistants to British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland's

Wales Rugby Union (WRU) chairman Gareth Davies says Wales will benefit from Rob Howley joining the British and Irish Lions as Warren Gatland's assistant.

The 46-year-old joins Andy Farrell and Steve Borthwick as Gatland's assistants for the tour of New Zealand in 2017.

Howley was also part of the coaching staff for the Lions' 2-1 Test series victory over Australia in 2013 and the 2009 series in South Africa.

"It's an ideal developmental summer for Welsh coaches," Davies said.

While Gatland takes charge of the Lions, Howley deputised for the Wales head coach and oversaw three wins in their four autumn international series games.

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British and Irish Lions: Rob Howley looking forward to joining coaching staff

Despite winning three of their four international games for the first time since 2002, Howley came in for criticism for Wales' performances.

"With Warren and Rob, Rob especially should benefit tremendously from the experience of going," Davies told BBC Wales Sport.

"Both of them will come back as better individuals and coaches, irrespective of which way the tour goes."

Howley stood in as Wales coach during their tour of Australia in 2012 and deputised again to lead Wales to the 2013 Six Nations when Gatland was named 2013 Lions Coach.

Davies continued: "From his [Howley's] development point of view, it's positive and it allows them [Howley and Gatland] on a full international tour.

"We don't want to demean it or understate it, it gives an opportunity for other people to develop as well."

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