McGeechan rules out official Lions role
October 16, 2012
Sir Ian McGeechan will be in Australia as a supporter next summer © Getty Images
McGeechan, who has served as the Lions' head coach on four previous tours - in 1989, 1993, 1997 - and took charge of the midweek side in 2005, is widely regarded as being synonymous with the historic touring side. The 65-year-old also knows better than most what it takes to come away from the southern hemisphere with a series win having guided the Lions to victory in Australia 1989 and South Africa in 1997.
That latter triumph over the Springboks was the last time the Lions returned home with a series victory and despite his continued passion for the side, McGeechan will not take on an official role in 2013. But Gatland may still call on McGeechan's advice having acted as forwards coach for the tour back in 2009.
"I'll be there for advice and support and I'll be over there but watching," McGeechan told Sky Sports News. "I was happy at the end of 2009 that as a head coach, that was it. Inside, I felt unfinished business after 2005 so it was great to have that opportunity to be involved in 2009.
"But come the end of that tour and finishing with the way we won in Jo'burg that was fine for me. I was comfortable to see that as my last role as a head coach."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
He teed up Obolensky's try, fought in Burma and played cricket for Warwickshire - we Rewind to look at the story of Peter Cranmer
With the World Cup just a year away, Tom Hamilton picks out five matches to ensure you have tickets for
Ahead of November's USA-All Blacks match, America's ESPN Magazine explains rugby to its readers who may not be familiar with the game
Tom Hamilton talks to World Cup-winning captain John Smit about life after rugby, his fears over the South African exodus and the World Cup