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- British & Irish Lions 2017: 'Lions is like a party to which Scots aren't invited'
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- Read Behind the Lions: Playing Rugby for the British & Irish Lions (Behind the Jersey Series)
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- Successes up to WWI - Lions History
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Delivery not available. Pickup not available. Behind the Lions' sees four esteemed rugby writers from each of the Home Nations delve to the heart of what it means to be a Lion, interviewing a vast array of former tourists to uncover the passion, pride and exhilaration experienced when wearing the famous red jersey. About This Item We aim to show you accurate product information. Manufacturers, suppliers and others provide what you see here, and we have not verified it. See our disclaimer.
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British & Irish Lions 2017: 'Lions is like a party to which Scots aren't invited'
See any care plans, options and policies that may be associated with this product. Email address. The second Test in Pretoria was do-or-die. Shaw would win his first Test start for the Lions on his third tour, having travelled to South Africa in and to New Zealand in I had done pretty well off the bench during the tour. I just got on with my job. We both appreciated how important he was to a team that won things. We both said we should have known better, even if he had not and would have loved to pull a winning jersey off his back. Getting the last of those opportunities was one of the highlights of my career.
From through to , they were the best team in the world — a special team. I think Richie McCaw said it was the best Springboks team he played against. But that also meant it was a glorious, glorious opportunity gone begging.
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It always felt as if I had to basically be man of the match for England to win selection for the following game. But I think that was a positive thing. The atmosphere at the ground was electric, with many of the 52, in attendance supporting the Lions and wearing red in the sunshine. It came alive that day, encapsulating what the Lions means to so many people on and off the field. You see how much it matters to home fans, how much they care about rugby. I was going to try to do that again. A month earlier, we had beaten the Chiefs in the Super 14 final on the same ground.
Confidence was high. But I do remember the kick-off. South Africa caught the ball and drove us 10 metres up the field. Seeing Schalk Burger appear to rake his hand across the eyes of Lions wing Luke Fitzgerald, Lawrence adjudged that a yellow card would suffice. Burger would later receive an eight-week ban. Then it was only a yellow card. In any game now it is a straight red and a four- or five-month ban. A draw might have been a fair result, just because of the quality of rugby played by both teams. End of story. Your performance has to be of a level that supersedes that.
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It so nearly was of that level. There was just no let-up. They played well, we played well and there were or minute blocks when you just had to hold on and appreciate what the other team were doing. The Rob Kearney try sticks out to me. I felt some players really came of age that day — Kearney, Adam Jones. I still think it was the best midfield partnership in world rugby at the time, despite them never having played together before that tour. Some of the collisions in that second Test were just unbelievable and we were winning them.
Some of the hits from Gethin Jenkins, Shawsy. You could see the desire within the lads and it felt like a massive thing to be part of a side that was willing to put their bodies on the line for the cause. Mike Phillips remains one of my favourite number nines and I never saw him better than he was in that series.
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He did get under the skin of a few of our guys. JP Pietersen went over in the first half off a lineout. We just got our set-up a bit wrong and he strolled in. In a game as tight as that, it was a massive score. The body count rose in the second period.
Gethin Jenkins was helped off with blood streaming from his eye. Adam Jones dislocated his shoulder after being shunted in a ruck. That meant uncontested scrums and hindered the Lions. Roberts exited four minutes later. Jacque Fourie came on a hard line, I got my wrist trapped in front of me and it snapped backwards in on itself. I played on the next season with this injury that was never right and actually had an operation in That was savage. In the third Test, we moved Mike Phillips to centre and he won us a vital penalty there. Actually, we were going to do that in the second Test as well and ended up not doing it.
Shawsy took them on.
Read Behind the Lions: Playing Rugby for the British & Irish Lions (Behind the Jersey Series)
And he was better than them. The recognition for that came late, maybe even two Lions tours too late. Of course, he still got 71 caps for England. The England front-five were favourites to start the Test matches, not that I think anyone failed in that series — everyone was playing out of their skin.