Lions in SA

Lions coach quits

2009-07-06 07:57
Stepping down (File)

Johannesburg - Lions coach Ian McGeechan has called it a day as coach of the British and Irish Lions.

At the last media conference on their South African tour, held on Sunday, McGeechan made it clear he would not take the reigns as head coach again - but it is always possible that the experienced Lion could be persuaded to act as manager when the Lions tour Australia in four years time.

McGeechan headed probably the most professional management outfit ever to tour South Africa and they set standards which the local unions would do well to emulate.

It was McGeechan's seventh tour - a record - with the Lions, and he said he was delighted to be travelling home with a Test victory in what is likely to be his last coaching involvement with the Lions.

McGeechan tasted series victory in South Africa as a player in 1974 and as a coach 1997 and, although he narrowly missed out on such a feat this time around, the 62-year-old Scot saw the class of 2009 complete their 10-match tour with a convincing 28-9 win over the Springboks in Johannesburg on Saturday afternoon.

This equals the record the Lions set at Loftus in 1974, when McGeechan was part of the Lions' 1974 Invincibles in Pretoria.

"It's a very pleasant victory," said McGeechan, after the Lions outscored the world champions by three tries to nil at Coca-Cola Park.

"It's great to be going home with one. This victory lasts for four years."

The Lions arrived in Johannesburg on the back of two heartbreaking defeats in the opening two internationals and McGeechan admitted that there was always a danger that the players would be unable to get over those disappointments in time for the third and final Test.


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