Warren Gatland wants Wales to build on Lions success

Wales head coach Warren Gatland says he wants the Welsh members of the British & Irish Lions squad to build on their success

sam warburton
Sam Warburton was the triumphant Lions captain Photo: National Assembly For Wales

Warren Gatland has called on Wales to build on the success of the British & Irish Lions and claim a major southern hemisphere scalp this autumn.

Gatland will retake the reins at Wales for autumn international matches against South Africa, Tonga, Argentina and Australia, beaten 2-1 by the Lions this summer – a first series win for the tourists for 16 years.

In the deciding Test, Gatland fielded ten Wales internationals in his starting line-up but the current Six Nations champions have picked up just one win over either New Zealand, South Africa or Australia since the Kiwi took over in 2007.

Lions captain Sam Warburton missed the deciding Test against the Wallabies and has been ruled out for four months with a hamstring injury but he’s hopeful to be back for the autumn.

And Gatland is determined to see his side improve their form against the southern hemisphere sides.

“It is another chance for us to lay down a marker and for the returning British and Irish Lions to pick up from where they left off this summer,” Gatland told Wales Online.

“South Africa, Australia and Argentina will arrive in the UK on top form off the Rugby Championship and they’ll look to make a point against us as the Six Nations champions.

“We have always thrived on testing ourselves against the best and we will be doing that again in November and it will be ideal preparation going into the Six Nations early next year.

“We have had some big battles in the November Series, against South Africa and Australia particularly in recent times, pushing them close last summer and losing in the final minute in Cardiff last autumn.

“It will be great for the team to be back at the Millennium Stadium, in front of their home fans and to return to the scene of the Six Nations title victory.”

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