Warren Gatland Names An Irishman As The Best British & Irish Lions Player He Has Ever Coached

Jason Hennessy

Jason Hennessy

Jason is the editor here at RugbyLAD and a proud Limerick man.
Jason Hennessy

The greatest.

Warren Gatland has coached some of the very best players the world has ever seen throughout his time with the British and Irish Lions.

The New Zealander has been involved with the famous touring side since 2009, working as an assistant beside the legendary Sir Ian McGeechan in South Africa before taking charge of the next three tours, including the current one.

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He is yet to lose a series having won in Australia back in 2013 and tied the series in New Zealand four years ago, with this year’s series currently 1-0 to the Lions with two Tests to go.

But who is the best Lions player Gatland has ever coached throughout that period? The answer may surprise you given what went down in 2013…

“The best player I’ve coached on a Lions tour is Brian O’Driscoll,” Gatland said on Lions’ Inside the Bubble series.

“I saw him in 2009 [as the Lions’ forwards coach], having given him his first cap as a youngster coaching Ireland and I was unbelievably impressed with his development over eight or nine years.

“Just how mature he was, just how much he understood the game and everything. He was sensational in terms of his rugby understanding, rugby knowledge and the way he prepared.

“So he’s probably one of the best players that I’ve coached, from a Lions perspective that is.”