Gatland has already led successful Lions tours to Australia and New Zealand and this will complete the set. The Lions rightly have a truly special place in the game and I jumped at the chance to be involved again when I was approached about the role.
Wales' new Kiwi coach Wayne Pivac and his assistants will reportedly cost the Welsh Rugby Union nearly $500,000 before their team plays its first game.
"But one thing of reflecting back was the hospitality we had and the atmosphere of the games was incredible".
Warren Gatland has been named head coach of the British and Irish Lions for a record third time and will lead the Lions on their 2021 tour to South Africa. As a player it made all the difference, and now I can't wait to be part of the famous sea of red enjoying the tour of a lifetime'.
"I love the Lions as a concept", he said.
He revealed he had "unfinished business" in South Africa, who won the 2009 series 2-1.
Former Lions prop and now chairman Jason Leonard is adamant that Gatland can lead the Lions to their first series win in South Africa since 1997. "We spoke about the potential and I couldn't turn my back on the challenge".
Sky Sports News reported last month a verbal agreement had been reached with the Lions.
When asked if it would be his final one, he said: "I think so, yeah".
"We're delighted to have got our man. Warren is a world-class coach, boasts a proven track record and knows the Lions better than anyone else now coaching in world rugby, so naturally he was our first-choice candidate from the start of the process", said Lions managing director Ben Calveley.
"This was a unanimous decision from the Lions board and it was important that we moved swiftly and proactively to secure Warren's signature", he said.
The 55-year-old Kiwi was also in charge for the previous two Lions trips.
It also represents a change of heart from Gatland, who after the series against the All Blacks, appeared to rule himself out of doing the role in the future due to frustrations over the shortened nature of the tour and the treatment he received in the New Zealand press.
"The supporters are central to what make the Lions special, and with the world's finest coach at the helm, excitement will grow even further".