Legendary Lion On How The 2017 Tour Of New Zealand Has Saved The Concept
What a bloody tour.
Rewind a couple back a month or so and people were convinced the Lions were going to get an absolutely battering off New Zealand. And a few weeks into the tour it looked like they were going to be right.
Somehow though, thanks to some clever selection decisions and an amazing travelling fan base, the Lions pulled it out of the bag, securing a famous series draw against the reigning world champions.
Legendary Lion Willie John McBride reckons this summer’s tour may very well have saved the entire concept.
“It’s a tremendous achievement and, quite honestly, I think it has shocked a few people.” McBride told the BBC:
“A lot of people had written them off before they left because they didn’t really have enough time to put the team together. They have done a remarkable job.
“I think that this has, in many ways, saved the Lions.
“The concept is really unique and has gone now for well over 100 years. It would be dreadful in this professional era if it was ever messed around with.”
The likes of Premiership rugby have called for the tour to be shortened in recent months, but the McBride reckons it’s not long enough as is stands.
“The one thing I feel sorry about is that the tour is actually too short. There are some tremendous players on this tour and they really haven’t had the time to gel together.
“Rugby is about a team. It’s probably the biggest team game you could possibly play. I think they have done remarkably well to put the team together that they did.”