The British and Irish Lions are expected to name Andy Farrell as their head coach for the 2025 tour to Australia.
Farrell is set to take charge of the Lions for the first time having served as an assistant under Warren Gatland on the 2013 and 2017 trips to Australia and New Zealand respectively.
The 48-year-old Englishman would succeed Gatland in one of the most prestigious roles in the game having impressed during his four-year reign as Ireland head coach, masterminding a Grand Slam and a historic 2-1 series victory in New Zealand.
Ireland also topped the global rankings until being nudged into second place by South Africa, who were crowned back-to-back world champions last autumn.
While the World Cup proved a disappointment because of the quarter-final exit inflicted by the All Blacks, Farrell has shaped an outstanding side who should provide the largest number of players to his Lions squad.
The former dual code international missed the 2021 tour to South Africa because of his Ireland commitments, but he will lead the home unions against the Wallabies with the blessing of the Irish Rugby Football Union.
When Farrell’s contract was extended to 2027 in December, IRFU performance director David Nucifora said: “We’d be ecstatic if Andy was named coach of the Lions so hopefully that accolade is the next one for him.”
Farrell won eight caps as a centre in 2007 following his move from Wigan rugby league club and then moved into coaching, first with Saracens and then with England, serving as an assistant to Stuart Lancaster.
He joined Ireland after the 2015 World Cup and succeeded Joe Schmidt as their head coach four years later.
He has yet to experience defeat with the Lions having helped clinch a 2-1 series victory over Australia in 2013 and drawn series with New Zealand in 2017.