Neil Jenkins has been added to Warren Gatland’s British & Irish Lions coaching team for the 2013 tour to Hong Kong and Australia.
The former world record points scorer will be going on his fourth Lions tour, having twice toured as a player, in 1997 and 2001, and once as a coach, in 2009. The Lions have also added Eanna Falvey, the Irish team doctor, as their Assistant Tour Doctor.
Jenkins, who scored 1,090 international points in his playing career, played an instrumental part in the Lions’ 1997 series win in South Africa. On that tour he scored 41 points in the three Tests to help the Lions win the series 2-1. Jenkins joins fellow countryman Robert Howley, and Englishmen Andy Farrell and Graham Rowntree as assistant coaches.
Lions Head Coach Warren Gatland indicated late last year when naming his coaching staff that a further coaching appointment would be made closer to the tour. Jenkins will perform the same role as he did on the 2009 tour to South Africa as technical kicking coach.
“Neil was one of the foremost kickers in the game, both out of the hand and in terms of goal kicking during his career. He has been working in the coaching environment in this crucial area with great success in recent years with Wales,” said Gatland.
“The tour to Australia will be one hell of a challenge and we need to ensure that our approach in all aspects of the game is first rate. Tactical kicking, when to kick, how to kick, and of course converting points through penalties and conversions is crucial to on-field success. Neil brings extensive knowledge to the squad in this area and the players can only benefit from this.”
Jenkins scored 110 points in eight games for the Lions in South Africa in 1997 and a further 32 in four games in Australia in 2001. He played at full back in all three Tests in 1997 and was a replacement outside half in the second Test in Australia four years later.
He is the fifth highest Test points scorer for the Lions and holds the record for the most penalties kicked in a Lions series, 13, in 1997. His 41 points in South Africa is also a Lions record for a series.
“It is a great honour to once again be part of a British & Irish Lions tour. I am delighted and grateful to have been offered this opportunity to join the 2013 coaching staff,” said Jenkins.
“As a player I was lucky enough to tour Australia with the Lions in 2001, it is a great country and they are one of the top teams in world rugby. Like 1997 it was a terrific series but unfortunately we lost 2-1. I have clear ideas of what I would like to contribute and I cannot wait to get out onto the training pitch and get started."
Dr Eanna Falvey brings a specialist medical training to the position of Assistant Tour Doctor to James Robson, along with a wealth of experience in sports medicine. He has been Ireland Team Doctor since 2009 and worked with Munster between 2003-2007.
He moved to Australia in 2007 to complete his sports medicine training with a sports medicine research fellowship in the University of Melbourne, Olympic Park Sports Medicine Centre and with the medical team of Melbourne-based Aussie Rules team Geelong. Upon his return to Ireland, he joined the Sports Surgery Clinic in Dublin, where he was appointed as the Director of Sports Medicine.
A keen athlete himself, he is a former international amateur boxer and winner of Irish National Boxing Championships as well as being involved in competitive athletics.