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Ireland head coach Andy Farrell. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Ireland head coach Andy Farrell. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Ireland head coach Andy Farrell. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Andy Farrell is expected to address speculation linking him to a position on the Lions coaching team, when the Ireland head coach holds a routine press conference this afternoon.

According to a report in the Daily Telegraph, Lions boss Warren Gatland has lined up Farrell for a third Lions series against South Africa this summer.

Farrell has repeatedly been coy on working with the Lions again, but he has never definitively ruled out reuniting with Gatland.

Ireland are due to tour the Pacific Islands this summer and although the pandemic has thrown those plans into doubt, Farrell would need permission from the IRFU to work with the Lions.

Speaking last October, Farrell said: “I’m just concentrating on the job in hand. My priority is what I’m doing that’s best for Ireland, so no I haven’t even thought of it or had contact, or whatever. So we’ll get on with the job in hand and see what the future holds.”

Gatland is a keen admirer of Farrell and although the English man is no longer specialising in defence, he is understood to be in the running for a role.

Munster forwards coach Graham Rowntree could also be set for a return to the Lions, as Gatland looks to assemble a formidable coaching ticket.

Scotland boss Gregor Townsend is believed to be lined up to run the attack, while England’s defensive guru John Mitchell, along with Rowntree, Leicester head coach Steve Borthwick and Wales skills coach Neil Jenkins are also set to make up Gatland’s backroom team.

A cloud of uncertainty still hangs over the Lions tour due to the pandemic, as the series against the world champions South Africa could be relocated to Australia or played in Ireland and the UK, with a decision due in the coming weeks.

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