Gatland to announce Lions backroom team in Dublin this Wednesday

The squad travel to New Zealand next summer

Warren Gatland, British and Irish Lions, Canterbury

Image: ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

Lions head coach Warren Gatland will announce his backroom team in Dublin this Wednesday as he prepares to take the tourists on the toughest of tours next summer.

Speculation has been rife as to who will accompany the Kiwi back to his homeland. Newly appointed Scotland coach Gregor Townsend has reportedly turned down the opportunity as he prefers to commit to his national role.

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt and England's Eddie Jones have also publicly said they would refuse any advance from Gatland. 

The Lions will head to New Zealand feeling more confident now after a successful autumn for the northern hemisphere teams.

England beat South Africa, Fiji, Argentina and Australia while Ireland stopped New Zealand's record run as well as beating Australia.

Scotland were unlucky to lose to the Wallabies and recorded impressive wins over Argentina and Georgia.

Wales took their almost annual beating off Australia before coming out on top against Argentina, Japan and South Africa.

The back-to-back world champions New Zealand are waiting for what appears to be the best Lions side since probably the 1997 tour of South Africa.

The All Blacks swept the 2005 series 3-0 and sent the tourists packing with their tails between their legs. You get the feeling it might be a bit more competitive in 2017.