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Gatland out to be Lion King after being confirmed as coach

| 05.09.2012

The worst kept secret in rugby has finally been confirmed with Warren Gatland named as the head coach of the British and Irish Lions for their 2013 tour of Australia.

And it is 4/6 that the Lions secure a first victory in Australia since 1989, with their two visits since ending in 2-1 defeats.

His record with Wales made him the obvious candidate for the role, leading them to the semi finals of the Rugby World Cup last year and then to the Grand Slam in the Six Nations earlier in 2012.

Meanwhile, the fact that he had a sabbatical for the summer of 2013 drawn into his latest Wales contract almost confirmed early that he was expecting to take on the Lions role.

The last ten years have almost been constant success for Gatland, firstly with Wasps, then Waikato and currently Wales and this bodes well for the Lions.

He will reveal the remainder of his coaching team later this year, with the obvious solution being that his fellow Wales coaches including Shaun Edwards and Rob Howley join.

However, there is the risk that this team would be too Welsh dominant and so there is a strong case that the likes of Graham Rowntree will be included in the backroom team.

There is expected to be a strong Welsh core to the team, given their own Six Nations success and the knowledge Gatland has of the players, in terms of their ability, attitude and mental strength.

Welsh captain Sam Warburton looks a banker at 2/5 to fulfil the same role with the Lions barring injury, while Mike Philips looks a reasonable price at 5/2 to start the first Lions Test with Australia at scrum half.

Other betting options include Irish duo Jonny Sexton and ERC Player of the Year Rob Kearney being picked at fly half and full back at 1/3 and 1/1 respectively.

Lions betting

Series Winner
Australia 6/5
British and Irish Lions 4/6
Drawn Series 28/1

Correct Score
Australia 1-0 500/1
Australia 2-0 50/1
Australia 3-0 5/1
Australia 2-1 12/5
British and Irish Lions 1-0 300/1
British and Irish Lions 2-0 33/1
British and Irish Lions 3-0 7/2
British and Irish Lions 2-1 13/8
Drawn Series 28/1

To start first Test as hooker
R Ford 7/4
D Hartley 2/1
R Best 2/1
M Rees 12/1
S Cronin 16/1
R Hibbard 33/1
K Owens 33/1

To start first Test as fly-half
J Sexton 1/3
R Priestland 6/1
T Flood 8/1
O Farrell 14/1
J Hook 14/1
G Laidlaw 20/1
33/1 bar

To start first Test at full back
R Kearney 1/1
L Halfpenny 7/2
B Foden 4/1
M Brown 10/1
J Hook 10/1
S Hogg 16/1
33/1 bar

To start first Test at scrum half
M Phillips 5/2
C Murray 3/1
D Care 4/1
B Youngs 5/1
T Knoyle 8/1
M Blair 16/1
L Dickson 16/1
33/1 bar

British and Irish Lions captain
Sam Warburton 2/5
Chris Robshaw 5/1
Ross Ford 10/1
20/1 bar

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Author

Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.