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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 November 2007, 11:47 GMT
Davies named 2009 Lions manager
Gerald Davies won five caps for the Lions in his playing career
Gerald Davies won five caps for the Lions in his playing career
Ex-Wales wing Gerald Davies has been appointed manager for the 2009 British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa.

Davies, a Lion in 1968 and 1971, takes on the role held by Bill Beaumont in New Zealand in 2005 and Donal Lenihan four years before that in Australia.

Former Scotland full-back Andy Irvine, a three-times tourist, has been appointed chairman of the Lions board.

The Lions hope to announce a head coach next year, with Eddie O'Sullivan and Ian McGeechan two front-runners.

Ireland coach O'Sullivan is believed to have a clause in his new contract with the Irish Rugby Football Union allowing him to take the job.

However, Ireland's poor showing at the World Cup may have undermined his credentials.

In contrast, Wasps director of rugby Ian McGeechan has coached the Lions three times before - in 1989, 1993 and 1997 - and may be persuaded to reprise his role once more.

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Lions chief executive John Feehan revealed that the candidate would not have to be drawn from the current coaches of the four home unions.

"The selection of the coach won't be until after the Six Nations," Feehan said.

"We will make the appointment then because it gives candidates the chance to show what they can do between now and then.

"The Lions committee will decide who coaches the tour."

Sir Clive Woodward was the head coach in New Zealand as the Lions were whitewashed in the three-Test series.

Davies is a national representative on the Welsh Rugby Union board of directors and is well respected in the game.

The 62-year-old won 46 Wales caps and five Lions caps in his international career between 1966 and 1978.

"I'm extraordinarily privileged to be named tour manager. I'm thankful for all the support given to me by the Lions committee and home unions," Davies said.

"I hope I can fulfil the task put upon me. I'm determined it will be a hugely successful tour.

"Lions tours are unforgettable experiences. This is a great privilege bestowed upon me and I hope I can do a suitable job."



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