Farrells is a ‘class’ appointment for the Lions claims Woods

Farrells is a ‘class’ appointment for the Lions claims Woods

Former British and Irish Lions player Keith Wood believes that Andy Farrell's appointment for the tour of Australia in 2025 is a "class appointment."

This month, the overwhelming favourite for the role, Farrell, was selected to lead the team for in year.

Farrell, the current World Rugby Coach of the Year, succeeds Warren Gatland, who coached the last three tours in 2021, 2017, and 2013.

The Ireland coach had been an assistant coach to Gatland on the 2013 and 2017 tours but did not feature on the coaching staff in the South African tour in 2021.

Farrell, 48, has led Ireland to its first series win in New Zealand and a Six Nations Grand Slam since taking charge in 2019. He also recently signed a new deal with IRFU until the end of the 2027 Rugby World Cup and has been given permission to lead the Lions in the summer of 2025 as part of a sabbatical.

Wood, who played in the 1997 and 2001 tours, believes that Farrell will learn a lot from Ireland's narrow loss to New Zealand in last year's Rugby World Cup.

"Andy Farrell is a class appointment; he gets the Lions. I think he understands high performance. He believes in people. I'd like him to have gone further in the World Cup with Ireland. And I think he will have learned an awful lot from that," said Wood, speaking for BoyleSports, which offers the latest Six Nations betting.

"You know, when your standard is to win it, it's a failure if you don't. I think he would be smart. I think he might have done a few things differently. But that's the joy of sports: you get another day to learn from your mistakes. It's hard when guys don't get a chance to learn from their mistakes.

"I think Andy consistently surrounds himself with guys who challenge him and have very good rugby union nous."

Andy Farrell (Image: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

Sport and rugby are in need of inspiration and new ideas to bring new fans and players into the game. Wood believes that the "excellent man manager" in Farrell can bring that innovation to the Lions in 2025.

"Farrell is an excellent man manager. That’s a really big deal. If you want to look for comparisons, Andy has Lions history as an assistant coach. So that's a good thing in his back pocket. He has a history of high performance; that's a really good thing. He's got a history of leading teams; that's a good thing."

The Lions' first game will take place in Dublin on Friday, June 20, 2025, for the Lions 1888 Cup. This will be the first time the British and Irish Lions will play in Ireland and will help prepare the team ahead of the 2025 tour to Australia.

The Lions will also face the Australian side Western Force, the Queensland Reds, the ACT Brumbies, and others before the three-test decider against Australia on July 19, 26, and August 2.

2025 Lions Tour to Australia (kick-off times TBC):

  • 20 June: Lions vs Argentina, Dublin (Aviva Stadium) 
  • 28 June: Lions vs Western Force, Perth (Optus Stadium) 
  • 2 July: Lions vs Queensland Reds, Brisbane (Suncorp Stadium) 
  • 5 July: Lions vs NSW Waratahs, Sydney (Allianz Stadium) 
  • 9 July: Lions vs ACT Brumbies, Canberra (GIO Stadium) 
  • 12 July: Lions vs Invitational AU & NZ, Adelaide (Adelaide Oval) 
  • 19 July: 1st Test, Lions vs Wallabies, Brisbane (Suncorp Stadium) 
  • 22 July: Lions vs Melbourne Rebels, Melbourne (Marvel Stadium) 
  • 26 July: 2nd Test, Lions vs Wallabies, Melbourne (Melbourne Cricket Ground/MCG) 
  • 2 August: 3rd Test, Lions vs Wallabies, Sydney (Accor Stadium)"