Warren Gatland has warned any British and Irish Lions contenders to "put their hand up and not get on the plane" if they think beating the All Blacks is an impossible task.

Speaking at his unveiling at the Standard Life offices in Edinburgh, the new Lions head coach described his assignment as "the biggest job in world rugby against the best opposition".

The Kiwi will name his assistants and back-room staff on December 7, but issued an early warning that he does not want anyone who fears the back-to-back world champions.

"I wouldn't be here if I didn't think we had the ability to go to New Zealand and win," said Gatland. "If there are players or coaches who believe we haven't got a chance, put your hands up now and don't get on the plane.


"You've got to go there with the belief we can be successful. You want to challenge yourself against the best. When I was offered the position, it was a 'yes' straight away."

Gatland has stepped down from his position as Wales head coach for the remainder of the season, with backs coach Rob Howley taking over from the 52-year-old as he did in 2013.
The tourists will face a gruelling 10-match schedule - featuring three Test matches - and are plotting to undo the hosts' 43-match unbeaten run on home soil, dating back to 2009.

"I've got a long flight to New Zealand tomorrow (Thursday) to look at hotels and training venues," said Gatland, who masterminded the Lions' 2-1 series victory over Australia in 2013.

"I'll get down to Hamilton on Saturday to see the All Blacks against Argentina. What we've learnt on the past couple of tours is that you want some continuity.

"There's a limited amount of preparation time, but you want to add some fresh faces and fresh ideas as well."

On the choice of Howley as the man to succeed him with Wales on an interim basis, Gatland added: "Rob's appointment is great news for the squad. We have an experienced management team in place and Rob's desire to continue developing is a great mix to drive the squad forward."

Howley added: "I'm delighted, proud and extremely excited to be named Wales head hoach for this period. I would like to congratulate Warren on his thoroughly deserved selection and the honour of being named head coach for a second successive Lions tour.

"I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of being head coach in 2012 and 2013 and I'm excited to have the challenge once again and I would like to thank the WRU for this opportunity."