The Lions will play eight games in their tour of South Africa
Warren Gatland has confirmed he will take charge of his third British and Irish Lions tour when they make the trip to South Africa.
Gatland lead the Lions to a dramatic series draw against New Zealand in 2017 and a 2-1 series win over Australia in 2013.
The Kiwi is now set to do so again when Home Nations team travel to the face the Springboks.
Gatland will relinquish his role as Wales boss after the upcoming World Cup and will then start his official Lions duties in August 2020.
That’ll give him plenty of time to consider his options for the trip to Africa along with new Lions Chairman Jason Leonard and first full-time managing director Ben Calveley.
British and Irish Lions tour: When is it?
The Lions will head to South Africa for their tour in the summer of 2021.
While exact dates have not been confirmed as of yet, the tour will likely take place throughout June and culminate in early July.
The 2021 tour will be shorter than recent editions of the showpiece event.
The Lions have tended to play ten matches during the trips but will compete in a total of eight games this time around.
That will include a three-match test series against South Africa plus five additional games against local teams.
British and Irish Lions tour: What has Warren Gatland said?
On being confirmed as the Lions Head Coach once again, Gatland said: “I’m hugely honoured and delighted to lead the Lions again.
“It is exciting and a great challenge to coach the best players from the four Home Nations.
“The Lions rightly have a truly special place in the game and I jumped at the chance to be involved again when I was approached about the role.
“South Africa is a special place to play rugby.
“They have some of the most iconic stadiums in the world which will be packed full of passionate fans, and the Springboks have shown in recent times that they are back to being one of the dominant forces in the game.
“Having toured there in 2009 I know the scale of the task ahead of us – playing in South Africa presents a number of unique challenges such as playing at altitude, while the Boks will always be physical, aggressive and highly motivated.
“History tells you it’s a tough place to tour, but I am 100 per cent confident that we can go there and win. I would not be here if I thought differently.
“I’m delighted to now have everything in place to begin full-time in August 2020 as that gives me the best possible chance to plan for South Africa, but for the time being my focus is entirely on the Rugby World Cup and delivering a successful campaign for Wales.”