Leinster Rugby assistant coach Robin McBryde has been named as forwards coach for this year’s British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa.

The coaching ticket was confirmed this morning by Lions head coach Warren Gatland, with whom McBryde previously worked in Wales prior to joining Leinster.

“I am very much looking forward to linking up with Warren and being part of his coaching group again,” said McBryde.

“We’ve seen some excellent rugby in the Six Nations recently with some stand out performances by players – especially some of the forwards. That’s really positive for the Lions.

“South African rugby is known for its physicality, so we’ll be under no illusions of what to expect when we arrive. The challenge for us will be to come together quickly and be physical and uncompromising in the way we play.”

“I am grateful and excited for the opportunity ahead, but my focus will remain with Leinster until the end of the season and I’m incredibly grateful to them for allowing me to tour.”

Gatland commented, “I am very pleased to have assembled such a high-quality coaching team.

“It’s a really strong group and I’m excited to see what we can achieve together – I think we’ll all complement each other well in South Africa.

“Obviously Robin is someone who I know very well from our time together in Wales. He is an impressive and experienced coach who continues to have success with Leinster. I think he’ll be well suited to the Lions environment and I am sure he will do an excellent job with the forwards.”

Gregor Townsend (Scotland), Steve Tandy (Scotland) and Neil Jenkins (Wales) will also assist Gatland for the Tour to the home of reigning world champions, the Springboks, as well as the pre-Tour Test match against Japan at BT Murrayfield on Saturday 26 June for the Vodafone Lions 1888 Cup.