Lions head coach Warren Gatland to hire a psychologist for summer tour

Lions head coach Warren Gatland will make a psychologist available to players during this summer’s tour after Joe Marler’s comments urging mental health support for players

  • The Lions’ 11-strong medical and sports science team was announced this week 
  • That group of support staff did not contain a single mental health professional
  • All players will have access to a psychologist, who will probably work remotely
  • England prop Joe Marler previously spoke about the challenges of a Lions tour 

The British and Irish Lions are recruiting a team psychologist ahead of the South Africa tour following calls from Joe Marler to prioritise the mental health of players.

The Lions’ 11-strong medical and sports science team announced earlier this week did not contain a single mental health professional.

However, Sportsmail has learned that the tourists will have access to a psychologist throughout the five-week tour.

Warren Gatland is set to recruit a psychologist, available to Lions players on tour this summer

The Lions medical and sports science team announced earlier this week, along with the coaching team (shown above) did not include a single mental health professional in their ranks

The Lions’ head of medical Prabhat Mathema has begun the process of recruiting a psychologist, who is expected to work remotely from the UK rather than travel to South Africa.

Head coach Warren Gatland wants a psychologist available to his players on a needs-must basis rather than working with all of the squad every day.

The players will be away for almost eight weeks, including the pre-tour training camp in Jersey and warm-up match against Japan at Murrayfield.

England’s Joe Marler (above) has previously discussed the challenges of touring with the Lions

The Lions’ medical team includes three doctors, two physios, two soft-tissue therapists, three strength and conditioning experts and a sports scientist.

Marler spoke out earlier this month, four years after touring New Zealand with the Lions — an experience he has described as challenging.

The 30-year-old prop has twice stepped away from international rugby due to mental health concerns and expects the pandemic-enforced restrictions that will be placed on the players in South Africa will make this a particularly difficult tour. 




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