The British and Irish Lions have revealed that their next coach will be required to take a year out in preparation for their 2013 tour to Australia.
Warren Gatland, who has been tipped to succeed Ian McGeechan as head coach, would need to take a year-long break from his Wales duties.
Gatland has a five-month break clause in his Wales contract that could give him time to concentrate on the Lions.
If a home nations coach is chosen, they would be required to miss their team's 2012 Autumn internationals and the 2013 Six Nations.
"We would be looking for the coach to be available effectively a year out," Lions team manager Andy Irvine said.
"I think it's fair to say that if any of [the national coaches] are involved in summer tours we would regard that as acceptable, but that thereafter we would be hoping that he could concentrate entirely on the Lions.
"Whoever the coach is will be taking a year out. He does not have to come from the home unions and we could look worldwide, but ideally the head coach will come from a union associated with the Lions."
The choice of Lions coach will be announced after the 2012 Six Nations.