Gatland Triumphs "Continuity" of Lions Coaching Staff
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British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland named Rob Howley, Graham Rowntree and Andy Farrell on Wednesday (December 12) as his assistants for next year's tour of Australia. Gatland has overlooked his Wales assistant Shaun Edwards, who was a member of the coaching staff for the 2009 Lions tour of South Africa along with Welsh attack coach Howley and England forwards coach Rowntree.

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SHOWS: EDINBURGH, UNITED KINGDOM (DECEMBER 12, 2012) (ITN - NO ACCESS UK/ABC (Aust)/TVNZ/.CO.UK SITES(Internet)) 1. LIONS ASSISTANT COACHES ANDY FARRELL (LEFT OF PICTURE), GRAHAM ROWNTREE (SECOND FROM LEFT), HEAD COACH WARREN GATLAND (CENTRE) AND ASSISTANT ROB HOWLEY (RIGHT OF PICTURE) POSING FOR PHOTOGRAPHS 2. PHOTOGRAPHERS 3. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LIONS HEAD COACH WARREN GATLAND SAYING: "One of things, having spoken to Ian McGeechan and the people that have been on previous Lions tours is that the coaches and the people involved, they learn a huge amount from that experience and then four years later you pick a completely new team or new people that go through the same experiences. We don't often...in the past, we haven't had that sort of continuity so the fact we've got continuity in the coaches, medical team, analysis, you know a lot of the back up staff as well. I think hopefully it's going to pay dividends when we finally do get on the plane next year." 4. LIONS ASSISTANT COACHES AND GATLAND POSING WITH TEAM MANAGER ANDY IRVINE (BLAZER) STORY: British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland named Rob Howley, Graham Rowntree and Andy Farrell on Wednesday (December 12) as his assistants for next year's tour of Australia. Gatland has overlooked his Wales assistant Shaun Edwards, who was a member of the coaching staff for the 2009 Lions tour of South Africa along with Welsh attack coach Howley and England forwards coach Rowntree. While Gatland opted to leave Edwards behind, he believes the return of two men well versed with the Lions set up would be beneficial. "One of things, having spoken to Ian McGeechan and the people that have been on previous Lions tours is that the coaches and the people involved, they learn a huge amount from that experience and then four years later you pick a completely new team or new people that go through the same experiences," Gatland said. "In the past, we haven't had that sort of continuity so the fact we've got continuity in the coaches, medical team, analysis, you know a lot of the back up staff as well. "I think hopefully it's going to pay dividends when we finally do get on the plane next year." The Lions begin the tour with a match against the Barbarians on June 1 in Hong Kong before travelling to Australia where they play five warmup matches ahead of the first of three tests against the Wallabies.