Warren Gatland's Lions reign is already mired in absurdity

Lions coach Warren Gatland. Photosport
Lions coach Warren Gatland. Photosport

A British sportswriter has accused Lions coach Warren Gatland of foolishly "kicking the monster" with his attack on the New Zealand crowds and media.

And while Gatland pointed a finger at Kiwi arrogance, the Daily Telegraph's James Corrigan says it is the Lions who need to learn humility, having set Gatland up with a "suicide mission" in New Zealand next year.

"Gatland started the mind games early, accusing his countryfolk of lacking humility for dressing up the beleaguered Australia coach Michael Cheika as a clown. Great. Kick the monster awake and give it nine months to catch you," Corrigan wrote, in reference to the Herald's famous Cheika-clown cartoon.

"Still it generated the headlines and the marketeers will be happy. Poor old Gatland, meanwhile, will try to make himself busy with all this time at his disposal, fully aware that when the party proper begins he will have no time whatsoever.

"This is the disgrace of the 2017 Lions and it should only earn further scorn by the repeated wheeling out of the coach...the ludicrous schedule makes this an unashamed suicide mission."

Warren Gatland as a clown. By Rod Emmerson
Warren Gatland as a clown. By Rod Emmerson

"At the end of an exhausting campaign they will fly across the world to play 10 matches in 35 days, including three Tests against the best-coached and most talented team in existence. And if Gatland loses 3-0 they will paint a clown's face on him, with the Lions officials pointing the finger in the background. It is this lot who need to learn some humility and respect, not the All Blacks."

Corrigan questioned why the Lions needed a media session 250 days out from the tour and provided an answer: "Because there was a Lions shirt to launch.

"(Gatland's) desire is to move quietly but purposefully in the shadows gaining all the knowledge he can. Yet the Lions corporation insists he does it in the glaring spotlight armed with a loud hailer."

Corrigan also highlighted the conflicts which exist because of the Welsh coach's appointment as Lions boss, even though Rob Howley has taken temporary command of Wales."Oh to be a fly on the wall when Warren Gatland asks Eddie Jones if he could allow him, in his role as the British and Irish Lions coach, to be privy to the England set-up and 'share some information'."

- NZ Herald

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