Tag Archives: zealander

Warren Gatland meets England squad

An awkward squad meeting! Lions coach Gatland sees England players just a day after saying he is reluctant to pick them

By
Joe Ridge

PUBLISHED:

12:38 GMT, 13 February 2013

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UPDATED:

15:53 GMT, 13 February 2013

Warren Gatland has met with the England squad just a day after his comments regarding selection for the British and Irish Lions tour to Australia caused a storm.

The Lions and Wales head coach was with Stuart Lancaster's side at St George's Park for a pre-scheduled meeting on Wednesday just three months ahead of the trip to Australia.

Gatland, who has handed over the reins of the Wales side to his assistant Rob Howley for the ongoing RBS Six Nations Championship while he focuses on his Lions role, told the London Evening Standard on Tuesday that he was reluctant to pick too many Englishmen in his squad.

Causing a storm: Gatland said he is reluctant to pick too many Englishmen

Causing a storm: Gatland said he is reluctant to pick too many Englishmen

The New Zealander was at the National Football Centre in Burton to go through video footage of England's 12-6 win over Ireland on Sunday – a result which has left Lancaster's side top of the Six Nations table after two games.

‘England did well in the autumn,’ the Kiwi told the Standard. ‘And if they do well in the Six Nations, there will be a reasonable contingent of English players.

‘But that brings a certain element of – how do I say it – other pressures. We all know what happened with England at the World Cup and the circus that was created.

On a roll: England have won both of their Six Nations games so far

On a roll: England have won both of their Six Nations games so far

‘It becomes a much greater media focus for the English papers; potentially a negative focus for the Australian papers. And English players are targeted by other countries. They are not always the most popular with other countries because of the history. People like having a pop at them.

‘It’s just being aware of potential issues that may arise. I’ve got to be aware of the possibilities that, if there are a number of English players on the tour, the same sort of things could be instigated, through stings through the media or set-ups trying to create controversy.’

Gatland later insisted that his words were taken out of context.

Backtracking: The Kiwi later insisted his words had been taken out of context

Backtracking: The Kiwi later insisted his words had been taken out of context

‘I would happily pick 15 English players in the first Test at Brisbane if I though they were the best 15 players for the job,’ he told the Daily Telegraph.

‘Hand on heart I would never be able to look myself in the mirror if we didn’t pick a player who deserved to go on Tour because he was English. I just couldn’t do that to any individual. Morally it is just wrong.’

QPR"s Ryan Nelsen set to replace Paul Mariner as Toronto FC manager

Nelsen ready to quit QPR and take over as manager of Toronto

By
Simon Jones

PUBLISHED:

22:57 GMT, 7 January 2013

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UPDATED:

22:57 GMT, 7 January 2013

QPR defender Ryan Nelsen is to take up a post as head coach with Toronto FC and replace Paul Mariner.

Toronto will make the announcement on Tuesday with former Arsenal and Ipswich striker Mariner, who doubled as director of soccer operations, likely to return to England.

On his way: Ryan Nelsen looks set to join Toronto as manager

On his way: Ryan Nelsen looks set to join Toronto as manager

MLS side DC United had attempted to lure
the 35-year-old New Zealander to the MLS but Nelsen has been swayed by
Toronto president and general manager Kevin Payne who was an executive
at DC United when he played there previously between 2001 and 2005.

Speaking over the weekend, boss Harry Redknapp revealed his regret at the fact he was set to lose his star man.

He said: ‘There is some truth in the rumour I’m afraid. Nelsen is very important to us, a fantastic leader, a top player.

‘But he has been offered a job in America and I think there is every chance he might want to go. He wants to be a manager and it is a chance for him to manage a club.

‘He has been fantastic. I took him to Tottenham last year from Blackburn. He’s one of the best pros I’ve ever met in my life, a fantastic player, a great trainer, a leader.

‘He is a massive part of your team. To lose him would be a massive blow for us.’

Harry Redknapp won"t force out Queens Park Rangers" high earners

QPR's high earners determined to avoid being forced out as Redknapp's regime begins

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 28 November 2012

Queens Park Rangers’ highly paid stars are determined not to be forced out of the club by Harry Redknapp.

The manager, who drew his first game in charge 0-0 at Sunderland on Tuesday, has been told he must sell to generate cash for new arrivals.

A number of players who joined the club in the summer on big-money deals, including Esteban Granero, Julio Cesar, Jose Bosingwa and Park Ji-sung, may be part of a Loftus Road exodus.

Going nowhere: The likes of Esteban Granero (right) are determined not to be forced out by Harry Redknapp

Going nowhere: The likes of Esteban Granero (right) are determined not to be forced out by Harry Redknapp

But the feeling within the dressing room is that some of the players on big salaries will not be easy to sell or prepared to take a significant wage reduction to move elsewhere.

Redknapp has been told he must generate money from player sales if he wants to spend heavily on fresh talent.

The new boss may look to offload either Cesar or Robert Green as they recommence their battle for the No 1 jersey.

After starting the season as first choice, Green was dropped by sacked manager Mark Hughes after the arrival of Cesar from Inter Milan.

However, Redknapp, who tried to sign Green for Tottenham, is ready to give the ex-West Ham man a chance to revive his club career.

Green played 45 minutes in Tuesday’s 0-0 draw at Sunderland and team-mate Ryan Nelsen is backing the England keeper to give Cesar a run for his money.

Bore draw: Redknapp watched his side draw 0-0 with Sunderland in his first game in charge

Bore draw: Redknapp watched his side draw 0-0 with Sunderland in his first game in charge

Hope: Rob Green made a fantastic save to keep Rangers on terms at the Stadium of Light

Hope: Rob Green made a fantastic save to keep Rangers on terms at the Stadium of Light

‘Rob is a fantastic professional, he works really hard every day,’ said the New Zealander.

‘Obviously he has been disappointed, we all understand that, but he never lets his guard down in training. He puts in a good shift and that’s really important. It shows he is a good role model for the younger pros and younger keepers and everyone else.

‘I’d have no qualms with him being first choice, he is just as good (as Cesar). There will be absolutely no problems him being in goal for us.’

Miguel Angel Jimenez becomes oldest winner on European Tour

Jimenez becomes oldest winner on European Tour after one-stroke victory at UBS Hong Kong Open

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UPDATED:

11:36 GMT, 18 November 2012

Spain's Miguel Angel Jimenez today became the oldest winner in European Tour history.

Only seven weeks away from his 49th birthday, Jimenez took the UBS Hong Kong Open for a third time with a one-stroke victory over Swede Fredrik Andersson Hed.

The former Ryder Cup player's 19th Tour title – and 12th since he turned 40 – came without a single bogey in his last 54 holes.

Sealed with a kiss: Miguel Angel Jimenez became the oldest winner of a European Tour event

Sealed with a kiss: Miguel Angel Jimenez became the oldest winner of a European Tour event

He finished with a 65 for 15 under par, Andersson Hed's 64 having an agonising climax when a 12-foot birdie attempt on the last dribbled down the slope and lipped out.

Australian Marcus Fraser was third and joint fourth came Ireland's Peter Lawrie, Scot Stephen Gallacher and 19-year-old Italian Matteo Manassero, last week's Singapore Open champion.

New Zealander Michael Campbell, joint overnight leader with Jimenez, fell away to joint eighth.

This win marked a hat-trick of Hong Kong victories for the Spaniard, who also won the tournament in 2004 and 2007.

Andersson Hed finished before Jimenez, leaving him needing to par the 18th to secure the win.

Lining it up: Jimenez was consistent on all four days at the UBS Hong Kong Open

Lining it up: Jimenez was consistent on all four days at the UBS Hong Kong Open

Lining it up: Jimenez was consistent on all four days at the UBS Hong Kong Open

Jimenez said: ‘I saw Andersson had a 14-under-par and I knew I just had to concentrate, keep my pace, keep my rhythm and keep hitting the ball the way I was hitting it.’

At the age of 48 years and 318 days, Jimenez was glad to take the record from Des Smyth, who won the 2001 Madeira Islands Open aged 48 and 34 days.

‘It's an honour to make a record,’ he added. ‘And I hope it isn't the last one.’

Jimenez was consistent throughout the tournament, hitting 65, 67, 68 and 65 at the par-70 course.

Smoke screen: Jimenez can't be seen behind as he holds the trophy after sealing victory

Smoke screen: Jimenez can't be seen behind as he holds the trophy after sealing victory

Kurtley Beale in the dock – Woeful Wallabies

It's looking woeful for Wallabies with Beale in the dock in latest episode of Aussie soap opera

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UPDATED:

22:37 GMT, 16 November 2012

In the dock: Beale trains at HQ on Friday

In the dock: Beale trains at HQ on Friday

A calamitous week for Australian rugby continued on Friday when playmaker Kurtley Beale was summoned to face an assault charge next February.

The embarrassment over Beale’s pending case follows David Campese denouncing head coach Robbie Deans and a poll of 12,000 Australians voting 75 per cent in favour of sacking the New Zealander.

Beale shrugged off the latest development about court proceedings after training at Twickenham.

‘I will need to speak to my lawyer, but all I’m doing is concentrating on this game,’ he said after insisting he had not heard about the court date.

The assault charge relates to an incident involving a hotel bouncer after the fly-half and colleague Quade Cooper were refused entry in the early hours of June 8 — a day before the Wallabies played Wales in Brisbane.

For the moment, the Australian Rugby Union has put on hold its own disciplinary inquiry into the late-night incident, pending the end of criminal proceedings.

Beale was far keener to talk about how he was going to give a revamped Wallaby back line ‘direction’ in a match the Australians are desperate to win after last weekend’s embarrassing 33-6 defeat by France.

The Wallabies claim they were caught out by the damp conditions in Paris after playing their previous games, in a stamina-sapping schedule, in the dry and warm of Brisbane, Rosario and Pretoria.

Beale is confident the return of wing Digby Ioane plus the decision to start the experienced Berrick Barnes at full back will give the Wallabies a winning edge.

Under pressure: Coach Robbie Deans (left)

Under pressure: Coach Robbie Deans (left) needs a result

‘We just need to get him (Digby) the ball so he can do his thing. He’s one of those who loves getting his hands on the ball.’

The Wallabies have also been comforted by the assured leadership of captain Nathan Sharpe, the veteran lock who thought he had played his last international match in last year’s World Cup.

However, the 34-year-old, who will be playing in his 113th international on Saturday, answered an SOS from Deans after injuries to James Horwill and Dan Vickerman.

‘Never say never,’ has become Sharpe’s mantra this year after agreeing to prolong a career. He might yet face the Lions next year.

SOS: Veteran lock Nathan Sharpe (second right) returns for Australia

SOS: Veteran lock Nathan Sharpe (second right) returns for Australia

‘It’s not under consideration at the moment,’ was how he rebuffed talk that he might play on in 2013.

‘We have a very big fish to fry first this weekend,’ he added.

Sharpe talked about a ‘siege mentality’ gripping the Wallabies camp this week after the defeat in Paris.

Such a thrashing, culminating in a penalty try when the scrum caved in, has re-ignited the fierce debate over the suitability of Deans, a New Zealander, being coach of a national team whose erratic form has prompted them to be nicknamed either ‘Woeful’ or the ‘Wobblies’.

Sharpe has also had to spend his time talking about the absent Cooper, who has a knee injury, claiming in Australia that the atmosphere in the camp was ‘toxic’.

All smiles: Beale will start at fly-half at Twickenham on Saturday

All smiles: Beale will start at fly-half at Twickenham on Saturday

‘This group gets on well and everyone is pulling for each other,’ Sharpe insisted this week and contends Cooper’s outburst is no longer an issue.

Sharpe believes the dips in form of the Wallabies have not been ‘across the park’ but in specific areas like the scrum last week when France dominated.

It will be Sharpe’s 12th match against England and he needs victory to make the score six wins and six defeats.

‘When you are playing Test match rugby for your country you are always under pressure. It’s nothing new for us,’ he said about an international schedule which will see the Wallabies play 15 games in 2012.

Ready to go: The Wallabies pose for their team photo at Twickenham on Saturday

Ready to go: The Wallabies pose for their team photo at Twickenham on Saturday

This latest match against England will be a test of character for his unpredictable team who drew 18-18 against New Zealand before the loss to France.

Sharpe wants to see Australia ‘outwill’ England, though he added they also needed a better method than last week against France.

‘It’s going to take more than character to win. Turning up and having a go won’t be good enough.

‘This English team is a good one and there is going to have to be a fair amount of exceptional play and some pretty tough rugby in between.’

Rory McIlroy misses Hong Kong Open cut

Rory misses Hong Kong Open cut after taking FOUR putts on the last hole

UPDATED:

10:37 GMT, 16 November 2012

World No 1 Rory McIlroy crashed out of the UBS Hong Kong Open after four-putting his final green at Fanling on Friday.

While New Zealander Michael Campbell continued his recovery from the depths of despair with a 64 to set the halfway pace, the tournament's defending champion suffered his first early exit since the US Open in June.

McIlroy had four birdies in his first 11 holes to climb to one under par in the tricky wind. But then came four bogeys in the next five and, with his survival in the balance, a closing double bogey six at the 367-yard 10th for a 72 and five over total.

Agony: McIlroy missed the halfway cut after four-putting his final green

Agony: McIlroy missed the halfway cut after four-putting his final green

'I just got on a slide and couldn't stop it,' said McIlroy, who was on such a high last Sunday after clinching a European and US Tour money list double.

'Obviously not the week that I wanted. I was only four off the lead and thinking I could make a couple more and be right back in contention. Unfortunately it just went the other way.

'I still love this course. It's just a pity that this year had to end like that.

In support: Wozniacki watches on as McIlroy misses the cut for the first time since the US Open in June

In support: Wozniacki watches on as McIlroy misses the cut for the first time since the US Open in June

'I didn't putt well in Singapore last week and sort of got away with it (he came third). This week was the same, so I think a bit of putting practice is required in Dubai.'

He plays the European Tour's season's ending DP World Tour Championship there starting next Thursday.

'I think if I was completely fresh I wouldn't have been making the mistakes. Just one of those things – hit it in the wrong spot and misjudged the speed on a couple of putts. That's just the way it goes.

Out of sorts: The world No 1 says he'll practice his putting in Dubai

Out of sorts: The world No 1 says he'll practice his putting in Dubai

'On the last I saw the projected cut was plus two, so I wanted to try to hole it (for birdie). I hit it a few feet by, then really knew the second putt was to make the cut.'

After missing that one he admitted he lacked concentration on the next and failed again.

'I feel like I'm hitting the ball pretty good still and I think these couple of days off might actually do me good,' he said. 'It'll give me a chance to rest.'

Campbell has climbed from 910th in the world four months ago to 339th – he was once 12th – and the 64 was his lowest Tour round for six years.

Leading the way: Campbell had slipped to 910th in the world rankings

Leading the way: Campbell had slipped to 910th in the world rankings

The former US Open champion went to the turn in 30, made it four birdies in a row on the 10th and added another from 10 feet at the last to reach nine under.

That put him one ahead of twice winner Miguel Angel Jimenez and China's Zhang Lian-wei – aged 48 and 47 respectively – and also Swede Fredrik Andersson Hed.

Padraig Harrington was another to miss the cut, but he drew applause on the last by skipping his second shot from the trees across the lake and back onto grass, from where he saved par. The Dubliner still had to sign for a 75 and six over aggregate, however.

Welshman Rhys Davies, 119th on the money list and needing to stay there this week to keep his card, was one over par with five to play. The cut was predicted to fall at two over.

Sale confident of John Mitchell capture

Sale confident of snaring Mitchell despite claims he wants South Africa return

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UPDATED:

13:55 GMT, 5 November 2012

The Sale coaching saga surrounding former All Blacks coach John Mitchell took a further twist on Monday when he claimed he wanted to return to his head coach’s role for Johannesburg-based Golden Lions.

But Sportsmail understands Mitchell is still poised to join Sale as a consultant this month despite the comments from South Africa.

Mitchell, who attended Sale’s recent games in the Heineken Cup, returned to Johannesburg last week to sort out his troubled employment at the Super 15 team following an internal inquiry into charges of misconduct.

Up in the air: John Mitchell is still set to join Sale Sharks

Up in the air: John Mitchell is still set to join Sale Sharks

That inquiry, according to Mitchell’s management company, has found the New Zealander not guilty and they are pressing for the findings to be published.

‘Even though John has been cleared of these particular allegations, the GLRU, through its lawyers, is not prepared to release details to John or his lawyers,’ said a statement from the Fordham management company.

‘That's pretty amazing considering the damage that this action taken by the GLRU has done to John's reputation and brand.

‘Furthermore, the GLRU's lawyers have advised John's lawyers that they are not prepared to release the findings and recommendations pertaining to the remaining nine charges brought against John unless John agrees to sign a confidentiality agreement.’

Mitchell told media in Johannesburg that he wanted to return to his head coach’ s role, having been stood down pending the inquiry.

Struggles: Sale have failed to find their form this season

Struggles: Sale have failed to find their form this season

‘There is some unfinished business to do with the Lions. Furthermore, I am determined that my future will be in South Africa,’ he said.

However, Sportsmail understands Sale remain confident they will have Mitchell taking up a consultant’s role in the near future.

Mitchell was named last week as part of Sale’s new rugby board alongside chief executive Steve Diamond and Bryan Redpath, the former Scotland scrum-half, who has been demoted from director of rugby to head coach following the team’s run of only one win in eight Premiership games.

Redpath, having agreed a new role last week, was then part of the coaching team who guided the team to a first Premiership win last Friday, against London Irish.

Wiesberger shoots low again to take Masters lead in Portugal

Wiesberger shoots low again to take Masters lead in Portugal

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UPDATED:

17:30 GMT, 13 October 2012

Austrian Bernd Wiesberger shot his
second successive 65 and leads the Portugal Masters by one with a round
to play in Vilamoura.

England's Ross Fisher had been three
clear at halfway, but could not keep the 27-year-old from Vienna at bay
as he continued his search for a third victory of the season.

Even when Fisher, without a win since
his Ryder Cup debut two years ago, had four birdies in five holes
around the turn Wiesberger matched them all to stay one behind.

Leading the pack: Bernd Wiesberger (left) leads Ross Fisher in Portugal

Leading the pack: Bernd Wiesberger (left) leads Ross Fisher in Portugal

He then drew level with an 18-foot putt on the 14th – his sixth birdie in seven holes – and moved in front for the first time when Fisher could not get up and down after missing the final green.

Wiesberger, who stands 13 under par, said: 'After seven holes (all pars) I was not thinking about a 65, but then I played beautifully.

'It could have been a bit lower, but I'm very happy with that.'

On form: Bernd Wiesberger shot a second successive 65

On form: Bernd Wiesberger shot a second successive 65

Fisher, playing on with a strained ligament in his left foot suffered when he slipped coming off the first tee in his second round, said after his 69: 'It's challenging, but it was a lot easier than yesterday.

'It was heavily bandaged and I tried to take the weight off it as much as I could. It's quite bruised, but the swelling is not as bad as I told it might be.

'I'm disappointed to drop a shot on the last. I tried to keep my neck out in front, but there's still a lot of golf to play.'

Joint third on nine under are Irishman Shane Lowry, England's Richard Finch and, in a sudden return to form, New Zealander Michael Campbell.

The 2006 US Open champion has had a wretched time since that memorable week at Pinehurst and is down at 607th in the world.

Campbell has not had a top-10 finish on the European Tour since 2008 and two seasons ago made only one cut in 19 starts.

'It's seven years since my last win and I was surprised I was calm out there, but I've won enough around the world to know what to do and I'm pretty excited about tomorrow,' he said.

'The last three or four years I've put too much pressure on myself to perform. I've gone back to basics and it's fun once again.'

Return to form: New Zealander Michael Campbell

Return to form: New Zealander Michael Campbell

He and playing partner Lowry were both five under for the day before bogeying the last for 67s, while Finch – like Lowry a former Irish Open winner – did not drop a shot in his 66.

Miguel Angel Jimenez, at 48 trying to become the oldest winner in Tour history, finished with a 30-foot birdie putt for a 68 and is joint sixth with England's Mark Foster.

Padraig Harrington also birdied the difficult last, but that was for a 71 as he slipped from fourth to 12th.

Northampton 24 Wasps 6: James Wilson sends Saints top

Northampton 24 Wasps 6: Wilson sends Saints top after fifth straight home victory

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UPDATED:

21:06 GMT, 28 September 2012

New Zealander James Wilson scored his first two tries for Northampton as they made it five wins out of five at Franklin's Gardens to move to the top of the Aviva Premiership.

Wilson's double plus 14 points from the boot of Stephen Myler eased the Saints past a Wasps side who had dominated possession in the first half.

It could have been worse for Wasps as Tim Payne was lucky not to receive a red card after television match official Trevor Fisher was called upon by referee Dave Pearson. Replays showed the England loosehead dropping a knee on Vasily Artemyev in a ruck, but he was given just 10 minutes in the sin-bin.

No way through: Northampton's Luther Burrell (left) is tackled by Wasps' Nick Robinson

No way through: Northampton's Luther Burrell (left) is tackled by Wasps' Nick Robinson

Wasps, who have not won at Franklin's Gardens since November 2005, also saw wing James Bailey – a summer signing from Lyon – carried off on a stretcher with a broken leg 17 minutes into his first start for the club.

The two incidents hampered Wasps' efforts to break a well-drilled Northampton defence and, despite keeping the ball for large chunks of the opening 40 minutes, they turned around 14-6 down.

After five minutes of solid defending, Northampton scored with their first attack and it took just two passes. A poor kick landed in Wilson's lap on his 10m line. He passed to Ken Pisi, who burst through the Wasps line and then passed back to Wilson for the full-back to run over unopposed from 20 metres. Myler missed the conversion and a penalty, but at the third attempt made it 8-0 after 12 minutes.

Nicky Robinson got Wasps on the scoreboard with a penalty after a burst from Christian Wade had got the visitors into Northampton's 22. But Wasps were dealt a blow when Bailey was carried off on a stretcher.

It did not put them off their stride as they continued to dominate possession and a 15m lineout drive gave Robinson another three points.

Myler replied with three of his own, though, and – after Northampton lock Samoa Manoa showed his side-stepping abilities to nip past a couple of Wasps tacklers – the fly-half made it 14-6.

Putting the boot in: Stephen Myler of Northampton kicks a penalty at Franklin's Gardens

Putting the boot in: Stephen Myler of Northampton kicks a penalty at Franklin's Gardens

On the stroke of half-time Payne was
sent to the sin-bin after the TMO was called on. Replays showed Payne
dropping his knee on Artemyev and the home crowd were furious the
England loosehead did not receive a red card.

With
Wasps a man down Northampton went for the kill but twice Artemyev, now
with his head bandaged, could not gather offloads inches from the
try-line and Soane Tonga'uiha could not quite reach the line after
charging out of a ruck five metres from the line.

The visitors did well to survive the 10 minutes, although Payne's return did not alter the course of the second half. It was all Northampton.

Northampton lock Christian Day became the second player to be carried off on a stretcher on 55 minutes with his right lower leg strapped up, but it did not stop the hosts' momentum.

And a minute later Wilson squirmed over for his second despite being seemingly stopped on the line by James Haskell and Andrea Masi after a powerful run and offload from Saints centre Luther Burrell.
Worryingly for England and Northampton, Courtney Lawes then limped off and Dylan Hartley came off with some sort of blow to the head.

But Northampton were able to bring Brian Mujati off the bench and the South African tore Wasps' scrum to pieces, winning penalty after penalty to give the home side control as they maintained their impressive start to the season.

Warren Gatland to undergo heel operation

Lions coach Gatland set to undergo minor surgery on injured heel

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UPDATED:

13:09 GMT, 24 September 2012

Operation: Lions boss Warren Gatland

Operation: Lions boss Warren Gatland

British & Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland is to undergo a minor operation to his right heel on Friday.

Gatland fractured both heels during a fall at his house in Waikato in April, delaying his appointment to lead next year's tour to Australia.

The Lions insist the surgery is part of the 49-year-old New Zealander's rehabilitation programme.

'The operation to his right heel, which was broken in his much documented accident, will see Warren enter hospital on Friday,' read a statement released by the Lions.

'The procedure will entail treatment to an area of damaged and blistered skin.

'It is expected he will spend a few days in hospital after the procedure.'

Luke Benedict

Gatland was appointed Lions coach three weeks ago having led Wales to the semi-finals of the World Cup and then a second Six Nations Grand Slam in four years.

It was initially feared that his accident in Waikato might threaten his involvement with the Lions, with assistant Rob Howley taking charge for Wales' summer series against the Wallabies.

But those concerns eased with his recovery and next summer Gatland will aim to mastermind the Lions' first Test series win in 16 years.