Should Warren Gatland receive a knighthood?

Warren Gatland

Warren Gatland

After guiding the British and Irish Lions to victory down under against Australia, there have been calls from across the nation to see Warren Gatland receive a knighthood.

Warren Gatland has coached his Welsh team to several Six Nations grand slams, stolen a grand slam from rivals England, and brought Wales to the brink of the World Cup Finals.

Now he has taken the Lions on to win the first test series in Australia for 16 years, with a convincing 41-16 victory. Naturally, rugby supporters from across the nation are calling for the New Zealander to be honoured with a knighthood.

What other coaches have received Royal mentions?

Many rugby players have been recognised with OBEs, MBEs and knighthoods over the years for their service and it’s not unusual for the coaches to receive honours too. Earlier this year, Rugby Sevens coach for New Zealand Gordon Tietjens was awarded a knighthood to recognise his record-breaking run, winning 11 World Series, a World Cup and four Commonwealth Games gold medals since 1994.

Tietjens is a New Zealand coach knighted for his performance with a New Zealand side, so surely it would follow that a fellow Kiwi should be knighted for his success with a British side?

Clive Woodward became a Sir after helping England win the World Cup in 2004 and Scottish rugby legend Ian McGeechan received his knighthood for his service while playing and coaching for the Lions.

Is a knighthood enough?

There have been jokes on ScrumV suggesting that there is a competition between the Queen and the Pope over who will honour him first – will Gatland receive sainthood or will he be knighted? The Welsh Shadow Secretary and Pontypridd MP Owen Smith suggested that a knighthood would be insufficient for Gatland and only canonisation would be able to honour his efforts. Gatland has become one of the many rugby legends in Wales and deserves formal recognition of it.

Others have had the same for less…

It is far too easy to recall some dubious knighthood decisions, including bankers responsible for the economic problems of RBS and the infamous case of Jimmy Savile. As a result, several knighthoods have been revoked in recent years, showing that the amount of consideration that goes into selecting potential awardees can’t be particularly stringent. It’s easy to find situations where people have done much less than Gatland and been given honours.

Benefits to Welsh rugby

For the Welsh team, there’s no direct benefit to knighting Gatland. After all, he won’t magically get even better with a ‘Sir’ before his name. However, the prestige associated with having your coach knighted can provide a huge boost to the team and help bring in more lucrative sponsorships and publicity benefits. These benefits alone should help drive forward the argument and see Gatland knighted with other rugby greats!

Written by Rugby Clearance, Rugby Clearance provide high quality rugby shirts and rugby training equipment

Written by Rugby Clearance

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