Newtonian Warren Gatland will become the second man to lead the British and Irish lions in three consecutive rounds after being appointed chief coach of their 2021 tour in South Africa.
On Wednesday, Gatland was confirmed in his role for the third time after training the lions in Australia and New Zealand respectively in 2013 and 2017 respectively.
The 55-year-old has been a coach of Wales in 12 years after their Rugby World Cup campaign ended in Japan later this year.
"It is a great honor and pleasure to lead the lions again," Gatland said after announcing in London.
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"An exciting and great challenge is to train the best players from the four nations." Lions have a right to have a really special place in the game and I jumped out of the opportunity to be engaged again when I turned to him for the role.
"South Africa is a special rugby place, and they have some of the most iconic stadiums in the world that will be full of passionate fans, and Springboks have recently shown that they are once again one of the dominant players in the game.
"After I went there in 2009, I know the scale of our upcoming task – playing in South Africa presents a number of unique challenges such as high stakes games, while Boxing will always be physical, aggressive and highly motivated.
History tells you it's hard to get around, but I'm 100% confident that we can go there and win – I will not be here if I think differently.
"I am glad that I now have everything to start full time in August 2020 as this gives me the best possible chance to plan South Africa, but so far my focus is entirely on the Rugby World Cup and providing a successful campaign for Wales. "
The 2021 tour will be the fourth with Gatland with the famous rugby tournament team after working as an assistant under the Lewis legend Sir Ian McGeehan in South Africa in 2009.
Gatland will do the story by joining McGeechan, who trains and plays for Lions, as the only coaches who have taken over Lions in three consecutive laps since the Scotsman did so in 1989, 1993 and 1997.
The Lions have lost a 2-0 win at Springbok in 2009, so Gatland could become the first coach to be defeated in a series with the big three of the southern hemisphere, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, defeating Wallabies 2-1 in 2013, then I drew 1-1 with All Blacks in a fascinating tour of 2017.
"One of Warren's biggest advantages is the ability to quickly galvanize the band and the last two laps of the Lions show that Warren understands and really loves the lions."
Tens of thousands of fans are likely to travel to South Africa, as Lions' tours have become a huge pilgrimage over the last 20 years, with fans dressed in red usually surpassing domestic fans. Leonard said support is vital and highly valued.
"We can play in the heart of South Africa, but I am convinced that we will have great support again and they will feel like home games," he said.
"As a player we did everything different and now I can not wait to be part of the famous sea of red, enjoying a tour of my life."
Lion Leader Jason Leonard, who played on their successful South African tour in 1997, said about Gatland: "One of his greatest strengths is the ability to galvanize a band quickly and the last two laps clearly show that Warren understands – and really loves – Lions.
"He has a set of skills and know-how to make the Lions tour work properly, so we're sure he's the right person to lead us to a win in a series of tests.
"We can play in the heart of South Africa, but I'm convinced that once again our fantastic supporters will make the matches as home games of the team, for me as a player, everything is different and now I can not wait to be part of the famous sea of red, enjoying the circumnavigation of his life.
Ben Kalveli, Managing Director of the British and Irish Lions, said Gatland's appointment was a unanimous decision from the Lions board.
"His appointment two years ago ensures that Warren can also participate in planning logistics and planning the elements of the tour."
Gotland's opening as a coach was widely expected, but came after he previously expressed interest in returning to a New Zealand coach again after the World Cup "if there was a chance."
Last month, Gatland rushed to New Zealand to support his son, Brin, after Highlander's pilot was ruled out for six months after horror.
However, a long-term look seems some time off among the extra reported interest of the Rugby Football Union (RFU) for former coach Waikato to take over the work of England by Eddie Jones.
Great Britain Sunday Telegraph announced that the reassignment of Gatland to the lions would not exclude him from replacing Jones who had contracted with RFU until 2021, although he was eliminated from the Candidate List to succeed Steve Hansen as a All Blacks coach after the World Cup .
In January, Gatland revealed he had held "informal talks" on lion training again when he discussed the topic of an informal event organized by the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU).
Maybe I've had some informal talk and that's all that was at the moment What could be brilliant to end Wales after the World Cup, have a little break and then potentially make Lions for 12 months in 2021. "
Gotland had previously taken the Saturdays from a coach from Wales to focus on the lions, but that commitment would no longer be a problem.
Mostly, Sunday Telegraph reported in April that Gatland would be re-appointed as Lions trainer for 2021 after the Lions board met to decide he was "the exclusive candidate."
Negotiations and deadlines were expected to be clear and resolved within one month.
Meanwhile, Gatland won its third Grand Slam with Wales after the sixth triumph of the nations in March. Partner Kiwi Wayne Pivak will replace Gatland as coach of Wales after the World Cup.
It is understood that the appointment of Lions will not affect the interest of RFU, but this may change if Jones withdraws after the World Cup if England performs poorly in Japan.
Warren Gotland's coaching career
Galapagos RFC: 1989-94
Valley of the Thames (Assistant): 1994-96
London Wasps: 2002-05
Chiefs (Technical Adviser): 2006-07
Lions: 2009 (assistant), 2013, 2017, 2021
Save with lions in a series of tests
2009: lost 2-1 against South Africa
2013: won 2-1 against Australia
2017: took 1-1 against New Zealand