Ian McGeechan, coach of the 2009 British & Irish Lions Rugby Team, made some interesting observations at the media conference shortly after arriving in South Africa. McGeechan remarked that his squad’s immediate challenge was to assimilate themselves into South African rugby culture, the idea probably being that you have to understand the beast before you can slay it.
“South Africa is such a tough place to tour because rugby is No.1,” the famously canny and likable Scot said. “I came here first as a player (1974) and then as a coach (1997) and you find it raises your own ambition because you are in an environment where rugby is so important to everybody. When we landed, we were surprised to see how many people had turned out to welcome us. We really appreciate it.”
“That is why I say we have to become part of South African rugby for the next six weeks, we have to take it on board, embrace it.”
The Arrive Alive website would like to urge all our Lions Supporters a safe and enjoyable [outside of the 80 minutes of the game] tour! We have developed a section on the Arrive Alive website titled “Spectator Survival Guide to Safety on the Road to Sports Stadiums” to assist all our spectators in their safety on the road. This is also available from the “Fanzone” section of sarugby.co.za.
We would like to urge rugby spectators to also view:
[Photo: Description: South Africa, 1997. South African spectator during the 1997 British Lions tour to South Africa. Photo: Gerhard Steenkamp/Superimage Media]