British & Irish Lions

Lions coach Gatland heaps praise on Rassie

Warren Gatland (Getty)
Warren Gatland (Getty)

British & Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland has heaped praise on counterpart Rassie Erasmus, who coached the Springboks to World Cup glory in Japan last year.

Register your interest for the British & Irish Lions tickets in South Africa 2021

"Probably one of the guys I respect is Rassie Erasmus with South Africa. I really like his philosophy with the game and his attitude," Gatland told The Breakdown on Sky Sport New Zealand.

Prior to taking the Springbok job, Erasmus coached Munster in Ireland, whom he took to the PRO14 final and European Champions Cup semi-finals in the 2016/17 season. It saw him named 2017 Coach of the Year in Ireland.

"He's got a huge amount of respect for the job he did at Munster and obviously he's done a fantastic job since he went back to South Africa. I enjoy conversations and enjoy coaching against him as well," Gatland added.

The former Wales mentor is currently coaching New Zealand franchise the Chiefs in Super Rugby and will face the Springboks next year when he takes the British & Irish Lions to South Africa.

Erasmus has stepped down as Springbok head coach, but remains at the helm of all the coaches as SA Rugby's director of rugby.

Gatland, meanwhile, also opened up on his rivalry with England coach Eddie Jones.

He said it was a false perception that he and Jones did not see eye to eye.

"I loved beating Eddie Jones. It's always nice to get one up on him. But we've been out for dinner a few times and the whole media thing is just a game," Gatland said.

Gatland, who was Wales head coach between 2007 and 2019, also coached the Lions on their tour to Australia in 2013 and to New Zealand in 2017.

The Lions beat the Wallabies 2-1 and drew the series 1-1 against the All Blacks.

- Compiled by Herman Mostert

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Rugby
42% - 9905 votes
Cricket
11% - 2654 votes
Football
19% - 4481 votes
Athletics
2% - 588 votes
Boxing
1% - 219 votes
Cycling
2% - 550 votes
Golf
5% - 1173 votes
Motorsport
8% - 1976 votes
Tennis
3% - 803 votes
Water sports
1% - 212 votes
American sports
1% - 293 votes
MMA / WWE / UFC
3% - 757 votes
Vote