British & Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland will announce the rest of his backroom team for next year’s tour to Australia at a special press conference in Edinburgh on Wednesday, 12 December.
And we are offering one of our Newsletter subscribers the unique opportunity to join us at Scotland’s finest stately home, Hopetoun House, South Queensferry, Edinburgh, EH30 9SL from 10am. You can also bring a friend with you.
All you have to do is answer the following question to be in with a chance of discovering first hand which coaches will be help Gatland plot the downfall of the Wallabies on next year’s 125th anniversary Lions tour.
Question: Who was the captain when the British & Irish Lions beat Australia 2-1 in the 1989 series?
Email your answer to email@example.com and include your name and a contact telephone number.
You must be able to make your own way to Hopetoun House by 10am next week. Dress code is smart casual.
Gatland spent the final two weeks of the autumn series working with Wales as they took on the All Blacks and Wallabies but his attentions are now well and truly back on the Lions as the countdown to the summer adventure really gathers pace.
The former Waikato, Wasps, Ireland and Connacht boss is already formulating thoughts on selection and he intends to step up that process after Wednesday’s coaching announcement.
"I sat down with some key personnel to look at what a pre-autumn squad would look like and I'll do that again post-autumn," said Gatland.
"Then we will do a pre-Six Nations list, one in the middle and then one post-Six Nations before we pick the final squad.
"There’s no one pencilled in. There are some people we’ve been keeping an eye on. The autumn is just an indication and then you see what happens in the next couple of months and the Six Nations becomes very important.
"I would feel uncomfortable not taking some players from all four countries. There's no pressure on me but, personally, I think it is important that we do have some representation from all of them."
Gatland was certainly given some food for thought with England’s stunning success over the All Blacks at the weekend – a win that he believes is a handy boost for British and Irish rugby ahead of next summer’s trip Down Under.
The 38-21 hammering of the World Champions showed that sides from these shores can still overcome the southern hemisphere big three after a previously disappointing set of results against the Kiwis, Wallabies and Springboks.
And Gatland was quick to praise England’s fine showing, even if he was still trying to come to grips with the disappointment of seeing his Wales side slip to a last-gasp defeat to Australia in the visitors’ final scheduled Test before the Lions come calling.
“It was a fantatsic performance from England,” said Gatland.
“It will give them confidence and self belief and it is fantastic for the northern hemisphere that they were able to achieve that.
“It would have been nice if we hadn't shot ourselves in the foot and had held on so Wales and England could have beaten the number one and number two (Australia have since slipped to number three) sides in the world to give us confidence for the Six Nations and the Lions as well.”
Here’s a recap of what happened in the autumn, what lies ahead in the spring and how things currently stand as far as the status of the global game is concerned…
|Fri, Nov 9||Russia v USA||Parc Eirias, Colwyn Bay||26-40|
|Canada v Samoa||Parc Eirias, Colwyn Bay||12-42|
|Sat, Nov 10||Romania v Japan||Bucharest||23-34|
|Italy v Tonga||Brescia||28-23|
|England v Fiji||Twickenham||54-12|
|Wales v Argentina||Millennium Stadium||12-26|
|Ireland v South Africa||Aviva Stadium||12-16|
|France v Australia||Stade de France||33-6|
|Sun, Nov 11||Scotland v New Zealand||Murrayfield||22-51|
|Fri, Nov 16||Wales v Samoa||Millennium Stadium||19-26|
|Sat, Nov 17||Georgia v Japan||Tiblisi||22-25|
|Italy v New Zealand||Rome||10-42|
|England v Australia||Twickenham||14-20|
|Scotland v South Africa||Murrayfield||10-21|
|Canada v Russia||Parc Eirias, Colwyn Bay||35-3|
|Tonga v USA||Parc Eirias, Colwyn Bay||22-13|
|France v Argentina||Lille||39-22|
|Sat, Nov 24||Georgia v Fiji||Tiblisi||19-24|
|Romania v USA||Bucharest||3-34|
|Ireland v Argentina||Aviva Stadium||46-24|
|Italy v Australia||Firenze||19-22|
|England v South Africa||Twickenham||15-16|
|Scotland v Tonga||Pittodrie, Aberdeen||15-21|
|France v Samoa||Stade de France||22-14|
|Wales v New Zealand||Millennium Stadium||10-33|
|Sat, Dec 1||England v New Zealand||Twickenham||38-21|
|Wales v Australia||Millennium Stadium||12-14|
RBS 6 Nations fixtures 2013
|Date||Game||Venue||Kick off (GMT)|
|Sat, Feb 2||Wales v Ireland||Millennium Stadium||1.30pm|
|England v Scotland||Twickenham||4pm|
|Sun, Feb 3||Italy v France||Stadio Olimpico||4pm|
|Sat, Feb 9||Scotland v Italy||Murrayfield||2.30pm|
|France v Wales||Stade de France||5pm|
|Sun, Feb 10||Ireland v England||Aviva Stadium||3pm|
|Sat, Feb 23||Italy v Wales||Stadio Olimpico||2.30pm|
|England v France||Twickenham||5pm|
|Sun, Feb 24||Scotland v Ireland||Murrayfield||2pm|
|Sat, Mar 9||Scotland v Wales||Murrayfield||2.30pm|
|Ireland v France||Aviva Stadium||5pm|
|Sun, Mar 10||England v Italy||Twickenham||3pm|
|Sat, Mar 16||Italy v Ireland||Stadio Olimpico||2.30pm|
|Wales v England||Millennium Stadium||5pm|
|France v Scotland||Stade de France||8pm|
IRB world rankings