Despite World Cups, European trophies and – in 4 years time – Olympic gold being on offer, for many professional rugby players in the British Isles, touring with a successful British & Irish Lions squad is still the biggest thing that can happen to them in their careers.
The next tour will be in Australia in 2013 and it had been announced that Wales coach Warren Gatland will be the man leading the charge.
But what goes into producing a successful tour or indeed any successful side?
Chris Rideout has recently addressed the importance of team chemistry on selection here: http://findrugbynow.com/2012/07/the-importance-of-selection-and-team-chemistry/
In this video, British & Lions coach and player Sir Ian McGeechan, a legend of the game whose name is synonymous with the Lions, gives his opinion on the appointment of Warren Gatland and reveals what is needed to mould a winning team down under.
Sir Ian McGeechan’s Lions credentials
Ian McGeechan toured with the British Lions as a player in 1974 in the unbeaten tour to South Africa and in 1977 to New Zealand playing all eight tests.
He toured with the British Lions as coach in 1989 to Australia, 1993 to New Zealand and 1997 to South Africa.
In 2009 he managed what has widely been acknowledged as one of the best British and Irish Lions tours, again to South Africa.
Despite a narrow series defeat, Ian restored the pride of four nations in the Lions and re-established the tour as the greatest rugby tour in world rugby.