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Last Updated: Saturday, 9 February 2008, 15:02 GMT
Lions open to foreign coach idea
Jake White and Gerald Davies
Jake White (left) could be on Davies' shortlist of coaches
Lions manager Gerald Davies has not ruled out appointing a foreign coach for the 2009 tour to South Africa.

World Cup-winning coach Jake White has expressed his interest in the job, while Ireland coach Eddie O'Sullivan is among a group of domestic contenders.

However, a decision will not be made until after the 2009 Six Nations.

"We want to look much wider than that (Six Nations) if we can," said Davies. "We want to see who is available and to see how good the coaches are."

The former Welsh wing and two-time tourist is eager to explore every option available to the Lions committee, headed by former Scotland full-back Andy Irvine.

"We have a lot of coaches to look at, it's very important we get the right man," Irvine told BBC Sport.


White has been out of work since leading South Africa to victory in last year's World Cup final against England.

"No-one's asked me specifically, but it's a massive thing, a huge honour," the 43-year-old coach told BBC Sport.

"They're going to be playing the world champions so it'll be an unbelievable tour. It's something I'd look at."

In November Lions chief executive officer John Feehan said an overseas appointment was unlikely but not impossible.

White held preliminary talks with Wales over their coaching vacancy before the job was given to Warren Gatland and also said he was interested in the England job before Brian Ashton's reappointment.

White's contract as South Africa coach expired at the end of last year and his last game in charge was against the Barbarians at Twickenham on 1 December.

Despite his World Cup success, he left the job under a cloud, after the South African Rugby Football Union began the search for a replacement before his contract had expired, after White failed to re-apply.

"I'm extremely disappointed at the manner in which the message of my supposed unavailability was conveyed to the public," he said at the time.

"My contract as Springbok coach was clear that I wasn't obliged to apply and that all considerations would be discussed at my annual review.

"I did ask for time to consider my options as I was mindful of making a wrong decision based on emotion. This time wasn't afforded me and that's particularly disappointing.

"I walk away with no regrets, but with plenty of sadness."

Davies named 2009 Lions manager
20 Nov 07 |  Rugby Union
White confirms South Africa exit
31 Oct 07 |  Rugby Union
England 6-15 South Africa
20 Oct 07 |  Rugby Union


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