In London’s business sector today, Andy Farrell was introduced as the new head coach of the Lions for their trip of Australia the following year. For a considerable amount of time, the 48-year-old Ireland head coach was the clear favorite to replace Warren Gatland for the tours in 2013, 2017, and 2021.
On the 2013 tour to Australia (a 2-1 Test series victory), Farrell supported Gatland, a role he would play again four years later when the Lions drew the series (1-1) in New Zealand. In 2021, he was prevented from visiting South Africa due to his obligations in Ireland.
Based on a variety of criteria, including his tenure as Ireland’s head coach—which included leading the team to its first-ever series victory in New Zealand (2-1), a Grand Slam, a Six Nations championship, two Triple Crowns, and a 17-match winning streak that catapulted them to the top of the international rankings—he was an obvious choice for the head coach position.
Following the 2019 World Cup, the Wigan native succeeded Joe Schmidt as Ireland’s coach, and since then, they have won 35 of 43 Test matches (81.4%). He has extended his contract by four years, meaning he will lead Ireland to the Australian World Cup in 2027.
He will accept his full-time Lions responsibilities and temporarily resign from his role as Ireland’s head coach following the November Test series later this year.
David Nucifora, the performance director of the IRFU, stated last month: “Yes, we would be overjoyed if Andy was appointed coach of the Lions.” We would feel more than at ease with that honor if it were to turn out to be his next one.
Nucifora provided some insight into the type of player the Lions will be receiving. “In my opinion, Andy is a fantastic instructor. His personnel management talents are second to none. His capacity to inspire the greatest performance from teammates and staff, his ability to unite the group and get everyone on the same page, and his capacity to continuously push individuals to grow and better themselves
After a brilliant and decorated rugby league career with Wigan and Great Britain, Farrell—the father of Saracens, England, and Lions outhalf Owen—won eight caps as a centre in 2007. He subsequently entered coaching, first as Stuart Lancaster’s assistant at Saracens and later with England.
After the 2015 World Cup, he became the defense coach for Schmidt’s Ireland backroom squad. Four years later, after the worldwide event in Japan, he succeeded the New Zealander.
In what will be the British & Irish Lions’ first-ever encounter in Ireland, the team will play Argentina in Dublin ahead of their tour of Australia the following year. It just so happens to coincide with the IRFU’s 150th anniversary celebrations. There will be a Lions 1888 Cup game between the two clubs on June 20, 2025, at Aviva Stadium.