English rugby legend and World Cup winner Lawrence Dallaglio recently had a chat with Jim Hamilton about the most memorable experience from his rugby career. The answer may surprise some as he counts the successful 1997 Lions tour of South Africa as the best of all.
Dallaglio was also a member of the 2003 Grand Slam and World Cup-winning England side. For him to select the Lions tour above all else, speaks volumes to just how important Lions selection truly is.
He speaks candidly about how brutal a tour against South Africa truly is, with size and overall physicality playing a huge role in Springbok tactics.
One of his more humbling on-field memories came in the first test with his inability to stop Os du Randt as the massive Springbok prop got a full head of steam and dragged half the Lions across the line for his try.
One more fond memory was the famous Jim Telfer “Everest” speech before the first test.
“I’ve always been a big believer, personally, in the emotional side of the game… If you can find the right emotional hook that everyone can grab onto, then it becomes a very powerful tool. It doesn’t really matter who’s in the changing room next door, if you find that hook, they’ve got no chance of winning.
“That’s exactly what Jim Telfer did with his (Everest) speech.”
The Lions are currently scheduled to tour South Africa next year, which will again see them face the current World Champions.