British Lions tour 2021: Coaching staff announced for South Africa - Gregor Townsend, Steve Tandy and Robin McBryde join team

British & Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland has announced the coaching team for the 2021 Tour to South Africa

Scotland coach Gregor Townsend has joined the Lions staff.

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend has joined the British and Irish Lions coaching team for the tour of South Africa this summer.

Lions head coach Warren Gatland has announced his support team, and it includes Townsend, Leinster’s Robin McBryde, Steve Tandy (Scotland) and Wales’ Neil Jenkins.

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The four men will assist Gatland for the tour to the home of reigning world champions, the Springboks, as well as the pre-tour Test match against Japan at BT Murrayfield on Saturday 26 June for the Vodafone Lions 1888 Cup.

British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland has announced his coaching team.

"I am very pleased to have assembled such a high-quality coaching team," said Gatland.

"It’s a really strong group and I’m excited to see what we can achieve together – I think we’ll all complement each other well in South Africa.

"A Lions tour is a unique challenge, so it’s important to have some continuity in the coaching group. Neil understands the exceptional demands that only a Lions tour can present, and we will benefit from his knowledge and experience.

"But it’s also important to have new voices and a fresh perspective. Gregor is doing an excellent job in charge of Scotland and is an outstanding coach. He also understands the challenges of touring South Africa as a player and what it takes to win there, so I am extremely happy he will be part of the set-up.

"Steve has made Scotland’s defence one of the most organised in world rugby – something we saw throughout the recent Six Nations. He’s clearly an intelligent coach and someone I am very much looking forward to working with.

"Obviously Robin is someone who I know very well from our time together in Wales. He is an impressive and experienced coach who continues to have success with Leinster. I think he’ll be well suited to the Lions environment and I am sure he will do an excellent job with the forwards.

"As the tour approaches we may look to bring in some extra resource, but this will be the core group for the time being.

"Touring South Africa is always a huge challenge and clearly when the squad assembles in June to begin our preparations everything is going to look and feel a bit different to previous tours. But having spoken to the coaches individually over the past few days we’re absolutely determined to make it an enjoyable, memorable and ultimately successful experience for everyone involved."

Scotland head coach Townsend will take charge of the Lions’ attack. This will be the first time the former Scottish fly half will have been part of the coaching team, having toured South Africa triumphantly as a player in 1997.

"To be involved as a player and now as a coach is truly humbling," said Townsend.

"The Springboks are a formidable opponent on home turf, but looking at the talent in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, it is a hugely exciting opportunity for us to do something special.

"One of the great challenges of a Lions Tour is to bring together players from four different countries, in a short space of time, and create an attacking threat that will cause the opposition problems. It’s something I am already looking forward to."