With all the debate about the future of Lions tours, there was a suggestion by Graham Henry that maybe the Lions should play games at home.
Not only is this a dumb and impractical idea, it shows a total lack of understanding about the uniqueness of the British and Irish Lions.
They are a touring side that only comes together every 4 years and picks the best players from the home countries (well usually anyway!).
If you don’t understand that then I really can’t explain it.
To fully appreciate the concept you have to be one of the thousands of supporters who spend a small fortune travelling to the Sothern Hemisphere to cheer for a team that doesn’t often win. To stand alongside Welsh, Irish and Scottish fans and to sing their songs and to cheer their players is an experience that forges real bonds and ignores traditional rivalries. Fierce rivalries that will return in a few months back on home turf and remain in place for another 4 years.
The best example of the coming together is in this short video where AWJ is seen singing “Ohh Maro Itoje” along with the supporters as he leaves the field after the Lions won –
AWJ performance on the pitch was pretty special too.
We were in Brisbane in 2001 singing ‘Waltzing O’Driscoll” – with fans from the other home nations – it was brilliant and yes – the Welsh were the best singers!
The atmosphere was incredible – I just wish we could have been in Wellington last Saturday
It was also good to see the team walking around the pitch thanking the fans – not in national groups but as one team – The British and Irish Lions.
The clue is in the name!