Lions head coach Warren Gatland puts a psychologist at the disposal of the players during the summer tour

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Lions head coach Warren Gatland will put a psychologist at the disposal of players on this summer’s tour following Joe Marler’s comments calling for mental health support for players

  • The Lions’ 11-man medical and sports science team was announced this week
  • There was not a single mental health professional in that group of support staff
  • All players have access to a psychologist, who will likely work remotely
  • English gag Joe Marler spoke earlier about the challenges of a Lions tour

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

The Lions’ eleven-member medical and sports science team, announced earlier this week, did not include a single mental health professional.

However, Sportsmail has been informed that the tourists will have access to a psychologist during the five-week tour.

Warren Gatland will be recruiting a psychologist this summer, available to Lions players on tour

Earlier this week, Lions' medical and sports science team, along with the coaching team (see above), did not announce a single mental health professional in their ranks.

Earlier this week, Lions’ medical and sports science team, along with the coaching team (see above), did not announce a single mental health professional in their ranks.

The Lions’ medical chief, Prabhat Mathema, has started recruiting a psychologist, who is expected to work remotely from the UK rather than traveling to South Africa.

Head coach Warren Gatland wants a psychologist to be available to his players based on needs, rather than working with the entire squad every day.

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

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

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

The Lions medical team consists of three physicians, 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 distanced himself from international rugby twice over mental health concerns and expects the pandemic-imposed restrictions placed on players in South Africa to make this a particularly difficult tour.

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