British & Irish Lions 2013
Dallaglio backs Gatland appointment
ESPN Staff
September 12, 2012
Lawrence Dallaglio loses the lineout, Australia 'A' v British & Irish Lions, Australia, June 19, 2001
Lawrence Dallagio on Lions duty back in 2001 © PA Photos

Lawrence Dallaglio has thrown his weight behind Warren Gatland's appointment as British & Irish Lions coach saying the Wales boss is the ideal man to lead the tourists to Australia in 2013.

Dallaglio worked under Gatland at Wasps for three years and also toured with the Lions in 1997, 2001 and 2005. And the World Cup winner believes that although some have misgivings over having a New Zealander in charge of the Lions, Gatland will get the balance of tradition and hard work right.

"Yes, he's from New Zealand and some are questioning whether we could in future select a coach from our own shores," said Dallaglio. "But his experience, his reputation and what he has achieved in this part of the world is unprecedented.

"He's worked with England players at Wasps. He's worked with the Irish national team and he's now working with the Welsh so his experience of northern hemisphere rugby is vast. I'm sure he'll put together a fantastic team.

"It promises to be a really good tour. The Lions are in the spotlight a little bit. They've lost their last three tours to various countries and it's about time they won one, I'm sure Warren Gatland would agree."

Reports last week suggested that Toulon fly-half Jonny Wilkinson could be in the reckoning for a spot on the plane to Australia and Dallaglio believes the ex-England half-back could yet journey with the Lions.

"I think we'll have a very strong squad," added Dallaglio."He hasn't ruled anyone out of selection. You should never close any doors and I think when you've got one of the world's highest points scorers in Jonny Wilkinson, why wouldn't you make him available for selection?"

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