British & Irish Lions Tour Manager Gerald Davies and Head Coach Ian McGeechan announced today in Dublin the coaching and key backroom staff for the 2009 Tour to South Africa.
The Wales Grand Slam winning trio of coaches Shaun Edwards, Warren Gatland and Rob Howley will join McGeechan in South Africa and will be responsible for defence, forward and backs coaching respectively.
This talented group of internationally experienced coaches are joined in the management team by Craig White who will be responsible for the physical conditioning of the players; doctor James Robson, who will lead the medical team; Rhys Long who will oversee performance analysis and Greg Thomas who heads the media team.
Davies said, "Today is an important milestone in our preparation. The personnel announced today have the proven skill sets to ensure that the Lions squad is well prepared for the tour to South Africa next year.
"The cosmopolitan make-up of the management team reflects the modern nature of Rugby and they, like me, are well aware of the challenges that await us."
Commenting on the coaching appointments McGeechan said, "Lions tours are unique as we have to mold together players from four different countries. There has to be a unified, common approach on the tour with coaches and players working together.
"We therefore have to create a positive environment and appoint the right personnel to help devise the right strategies to take on the Springboks at home. I am delighted with today's appointments and confident that we can come together quickly as preparation time is always short.
"Working with coaches and personnel that I know well and who have successful track records and experience ensures that we will get the best out of the players and provide the greatest chance of winning the test series."
The Webb Ellis Cup visited Lampeter on Monday to recognise the fact that the town is celebrating a major milestone as it is believed the first ever game of rugby played in Wales, was in fact played in Lampeter 150 years ago.
Cardiff Blues U18 Girls will go into Sunday's Gemau Cymru with an extra spring in their step after Welsh internationals Elinor Snowsill and Philippa Tuttiett offered some last minute tips at a training session earlier this week.
Rob Howley and Josh Lewsey addressed more than 250 community club coaches and referees at the first WRU National Community Conference on the weekend. The volunteers benefitted from coaching masterclasses and workshops in a bid to connect all levels of the rugby pathway in Wales.
UEFA has today confirmed the Football Association of Wales (FAW) has been successful in its bid for the Millennium Stadium to host the 2017 UEFA Champions League Final on Saturday 3rd June, 2017 (kick-off: 19.45hrs GMT).