Tour Tale

Goes in Rugby World

Rugby World - - CONTENTS -

the pitch was firm, the sun was shining. the dress­ing room was ba­sic and stark, wrote Lions lock Gor­don Brown, dis­cussing the build-up to the third test v New Zealand in 1971. i started get­ting ready when Barry John let out a yell: “i’ve left my boots in the ho­tel!”

We be­gan to panic a bit be­cause it had taken us half an hour to get to the ground in Welling­ton, and with the in­creased traf­fic there was no way the boots could be picked up and brought back be­fore the kick- off in 45 min­utes. Barry calmly went to find a po­lice mo­tor­cy­clist and sent him off to the ho­tel at top speed to pick up his boots.

As the kick- off drew nearer, Syd (John Dawes) was build­ing his team talk to a cli­max, yet the only thing on our minds was, ‘ When will those bloody boots get here?’

Barry was un­con­cerned. Be­fore ev­ery game, he’d sit in the cor­ner of the chang­ing room with his eyes closed, al­most as if he was say­ing, ‘ the team talk is for the other lads. Now, what am i go­ing to do to­day?’

So there we all were, hav­ing this team talk, and Barry was sit­ting in his socks, ap­par­ently half asleep in the cor­ner, when the door burst open and the po­lice­man crashed in, fran­ti­cally wav­ing the boots. “i’ve got them, Mr John!” Barry thanked him, then said: “You haven’t pol­ished them!” l From When Lions Roared, pub­lished by po­laris, RRp £17.99.

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