The only man for the job was finally named as the British & Irish Lions head coach yesterday to take charge of the famous team on tour to Australia next summer.
Warren Gatland's appointment was, of course, the worst-kept secret in sport, delayed by his unfortunate accident back in his native New Zealand earlier in the year. If any man is going to stop the Lions's losing streak - they last won a series in South Africa in 1997 - then it is Gatland.
Of course, as wonderful as the concept of the Lions is, with all its tradition and fanatical support from all four sets of fans, it is becoming increasingly difficult for what is a scratch team - albeit containing world-class rugby players - to assemble a few weeks before playing always one of the strongest sides in the world, hell bent on beating the Lions because it is a once in every 12 years opportunity.
Gatland will have learnt a great deal from the successes and failures of his predecessors. He is, being old school, likely to insist on room sharing, on total integration, and no them and us culture when it comes to the test and midweek teams. That will be a good start. The current Welsh head coach, and former Ireland and Waikato coach, is a no-nonsense type who will select without sentiment. Judging by the success he has brought to Wales, he has as good a chance as anyone to finally steer Lions to a series win. His back room staff are likely to be Graham Rowntree as forwards coach, Rob Howley as backs coach, Shaun Edwards as defence and possibly Wasps's Dai Young in charge of the midweek team. As for the team, if picked right now, it would feature an awful lot of Welsh players, and not too many English, but by May this may all change, of course. Gatland will be under pressure to deliver. After all, the Lions cannot afford to lose many more, if any, series, but once you have coached Wales, where the public expectation is so high and life is played out within a goldfish bowl, you can deal with just about everything in rugby.
What would his Lions XV be? Let's have a stab at it.
15: Rob Kearney (Ireland).
14: George North (Wales).
13: Manu Tuilagi (England).
12: Jamie Roberts (Wales).
11: Tim Visser (Scotland).
10: Jonathan Sexton (Ireland).
9: Mike Phillips (Wales).
8: Jamie Heaslip (Ireland).
7: Sam Warburton (Wales) - Captain.
6: Dan Lydiate (Wales).
5: Richie Gray (Scotland).
4: Alun Wyn Jones (Wales).
3: Dan Cole (England).
2: Dylan Hartley (England).
1: Gethin Jenkins (Wales).
With the likes of Brian O'Driscoll, Ben Foden, Ben Youngs, Tom Croft, Toby Faletau, Ross Ford and Adam Jones making up a possible bench and others to possibly come in, such as Sean O'Brien, Alex Cuthbert, Chris Robshaw et al the LIons will have no shortage of top-class players at their disposal. Can they win? Yes they can. Will they win? Yes they will. Just ten months to go!