Warren Gatland ‘over the moon’ with OBE in Queen’s birthday honours list

Warren Gatland admits he was “over the moon” after discovering he had been awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List

Wales head coach Warren Gatland

Warren Gatland admitted he was “over the moon” after discovering he had been awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

The New Zealand-born Wales rugby head coach was honoured for his services to rugby after coaching the British and Irish Lions to a 2-1 series victory on last summer’s tour of Australia.

The 51-year-old former Ireland, Wasps and Connacht coach also guided Wales to a third Six Nations title during his tenure in March 2013.

“I was surprised really,” said Gatland. “It’s a massive honour and I’m absolutely over the moon to be asked to receive that.

“It’s great and I’m very proud and sort of humbled. I told my wife and that’s been it really. It’s been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster.”

Lizzy Yarnold, 25, was honoured with an MBE for a superb season which saw her become Skeleton World Cup champion in January before cruising to the women’s skeleton gold medal at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics a month later.

“My hands started shaking as soon as I saw the envelope was from the Palace,” she said.

“Getting an MBE feels so different to the awards you achieve as an athlete because those are the ones you have been working towards day after day in training.

“My gold medal has helped give winter sports in Britain more exposure and hopefully this will continue with this latest honour.”

Also among the honoured are Laura Davies, widely regarded as the country’s leading women’s golfer, who is made a Dame.

England women’s cricket captain Charlotte Edwards is made a CBE after leading her country to back-to-back Ashes wins, with her team-mate and England vice-captain Jenny Gunn made an MBE.

Visually-impaired skier Kelly Gallagher and her guide Charlotte Evans are each awarded the MBE after they became the first British Paralympic gold medal winners at a Winter Games in Sochi.

Leeds Rhinos and England rugby league captain Kevin Sinfield is made an MBE as is Scotland’s former Indy Car Series champion Dario Franchitti.

Paul Hawkins, inventor of the Hawk-Eye ball-tracking system used in cricket, football and tennis, is made an OBE.

Swansea City director Gwilyn Joseph is made an MBE with Barbara Slater, director of BBC Sport, made an OBE for services to sports broadcasting.

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