• Twelve years after the Lions' bloody battle in Pretoria, player welfare is still a concern | Gerard Meagher

    1 month ago - By The Guardian

    Attritional contests are things of the past but there has been no change to the exhausting number of games on the calendar Listen to anyone involved in the British & Irish Lions' agonising defeat by South Africa in the second Test in 2009 and one word keeps coming up: brutal. It was a seventh successive Test loss for the Lions but the nature of it - Ian McGeechan's men bloodied, defeated but unbowed after losing the most gladiatorial of contests with the clock turned red - did much to enhance the myth surrounding the touring side. Despite defeat the Lions' reputation had been restored...
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  • Warren Gatland closes in on claim to be British & Irish Lions' best coach

    1 month ago - By The Guardian

    Undemonstrative New Zealander one win from presiding over three successive Lions tours without losing a series Twenty eight years have passed since Warren Gatland's first encounter with the Lions as a Waikato player. His home province took the Lions to the cleaners and back, beating them 38-10, and that winning habit has remained a steady theme down the years. Over the course of the 57-year-old Gatland's coaching career, the other constant has been people's tendency to underestimate him. There is something about his gait and demeanour that recalls the film The Usual Suspects when - spoiler...
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