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Former England head coach Stuart Lancaster is being considered as a potential candidate to lead the British & Irish Lions on their 2017 tour to New Zealand.
British & Irish Lions Chief Executive John Feehan says that Lancaster has been identified as a potential coach for the tour next year.
Lancaster left his position with England after an early exit from the World Cup but his availablility makes him a strong candidate.
Wales coach Warren Gatland is still being looked at as the front runner after leading the Lions to a series win in Australia in 2013.
Gatland said that while Ireland coach Joe Schmidt is welcome to the job he would find it difficult to turn down the Lions if the call came.
Feehan says that Lancaster has the qualities that the Lions are looking for in a candidate which is why he is being considered for the role.
“I am certainly not ruling anybody out at this stage,” Feehan told The 42.
“He [Lancaster] has a lot of the credentials you could potentially look for in a Lions coach, but right now we have got to wait and see how the results go over the Six Nations and the June series and then make a more informed decision.
“At this stage we have to keep an open mind and see who is available to us, who wishes to do it and whether they fit the criteria set by ourselves.”
Ireland coach Schmidt says that his current contract would not permit him to take up the Lions role but Feehan said that there is always room for negotiation in contracts.
“We are aware of the contractual position of all the coaches. Those things can always be discussed,” he added.
“People change their minds, unions change their minds, employers change their minds.”
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