The Lions have invoked the spirit of the triumphant tour of South Africa in 1997 with beer bonding sessions in Jersey — and they flew to Edinburgh on Thursday with a collective sense of unity.
Spending 10 days in the Channel Island has had the desired effect of forging a four-nation camaraderie off the field, as well as a degree of on-field cohesion.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
Staying true to head coach Warren Gatland’s ethos, the 2021 Lions have enjoyed socialising ahead of the crusade to take on the Springboks — just as their predecessors did on their way to a 2-1 series win 24 years ago.
Lions assistant coach Gregor Townsend has spoken about the vital bonding process
Gregor Townsend was a key player then. Now, the Scotland head coach is Gatland’s senior assistant and he spoke about the vital bonding process. The Lions will face Japan at Murrayfield confident that they are on track to become a tight unit, as they must be to have any chance in three Tests against the world champions.
Recalling the build-up to the 1997 trip, following a nostalgic catch-up with former team-mates, Townsend said: ‘There was a lot of chat about the night we had in the Weybridge pub. It was the night before we left. I still remember sitting with Mark Regan at the bar at two in the morning. I just couldn’t stop laughing, listening to him. That’s how bonds are formed and we’ve seen that with this group so far.
‘That’s what I remember from 1997. Obviously there were a lot of things on the tour itself and once we get on tour there are going to be different stories and different experiences. It will be a very unique tour, given no crowds are going to be there and we’re going to be in a bubble. Those social bonds are going to be even more important this time around.’
Townsend said the Lions have invoked the spirit of the triumphant tour of South Africa in 1997
The Jersey gatherings had to take place in more private surroundings — largely within the confines of