Warren Gatland hints at Six Nations away form factor in Lions calls

"If you want to get yourself on the plane to New Zealand, you've got to front up and win away from home"

Warren Gatland hints at Six Nations away form factor in Lions calls

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British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland has hinted that performances in away matches during the Six Nations will have a bearing on his selections for this summer's tour.

He takes his Lions side on a tour of New Zealand this summer.

Ireland, Wales and France all enjoyed away wins in Italy during the tournament.

But in matches not involving the bottom of the table Italians, wins away from home soil proved both a rarity and very hard to come by.

England's 21-16 win over Wales in Cardiff was the only away victory in any match not involving Italy. 

Gatland, who was taking a sabbatical from his role as Wales head coach to concentrate on the Lions tour preparations, told Sky Sports News that he would have liked to see the players he can pick from perform better on the road.

"Apart from England winning away in Cardiff against Wales in a game that potentially Wales could have won, no one's won a significant game away from home," he said.

"So if you want to get yourself on the plane to New Zealand, you've got to front up and win away from home in a big match."

The single away win - in fixtures not involving Italy - was only one fewer than in the 2016 Six Nations when England won in France and England triumphed in Scotland.

Wales also earned a 16-16 draw against Ireland in Dublin last February on the opening weekend of the 2016 tournament.