Both the British and Irish Lions bosses have an open mind concerning who should be head coach for the 2013 tour to Australia, Andy Irvine told the Irish Times this week.

Irvine is scheduled to manage the 10-game trip, although the head coach’s identity will not be revealed until next April or May, with Irvine hoping for availability from Ireland chief Declan Kidney, Wales head coach Warren Gatland and Scotland’s Andy Robinson.

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'We have a completely open mind for the 2013 tour on who it (coach) will be,' Irvine said at yesterdays Cardiff launch of the 2013 tour fixture schedule.

'Whoever the coach is will be taking a year out. He does not have to come from the home unions and we could look worldwide, but ideally the head coach will come from a union associated with the Lions.

'Ian McGeechan has not ruled himself out entirely. He did indicate that 2009 would be his last tour, but he has said nothing definitive and he has to be an option. It is such a highly-prized job that we will not be short of candidates. To play for the Lions is the ultimate, and to coach the Lions is pretty close to that.

'We would like Declan Kidney, Andy Robinson and Warren Gatland to all be available. I think all three would be available if required.'

The Lions last visited Australia a decade ago, where they lost the Test series 2-1.