British & Irish Lions legend Sit Ian McGeechan has penned an inspirational open letter to the tourists in the Telegraph and it’s absolutely BRILLIANT!
So this is it. The last few hours before the first Test. If you’re anything like me, they are likely to go by in a blur. I don’t remember a thing about my Test debut in Cape Town in 1974 until about 30 minutes into it. But try to cherish this moment.
For the past few days, since the matchday 23 was announced, the tension in the camp will undoubtedly have risen. It all starts to get very real. But know that you are ready. Think about everything you have done to reach this stage; the sacrifices you have made, the sacrifices others have made on your behalf. Your families back home who are willing you on. Think of how proud they are of you.
Look around you at the other faces in the changing room. Each one of you will have had your own journey to reach this point. But what unites us all, what unites everyone who has ever experienced or been touched by the Lions, is the jersey.
his famous red jersey which has built up over generations to become symbolic of what I consider to be the greatest rugby team on earth.
I remember Warren Gatland in 2009 noting that Lions players now looked at it with the same reverence as the All Blacks looked at their jersey.
Wear that shirt with pride. Leave it in a better place than you found it. I always used to say: ‘It’s not the jersey you put on, it’s the jersey you take off that defines you.’ Remember, a winning Test jersey will never leave you.