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British & Irish Lions touring party have not yet left Heathrow but they are already receiving plenty of sage advice. The New Zealand coach, Steve Hansen, has even warned this week about the pressure set to be generated next month by the “massive expectation” of the Lions’ supporters. Eh? It is akin to the Big Bad Wolf advising Little Red Riding Hood to beware the slightly loose paving stone up the garden path. Warren Gatland uses Messy Adidas Gilbert Perreault Authentic Jersey Monday to prepare Lions for New Zealand challenge Read more Pressure from their own fans? If Hansen were to don a wig and baseball cap and quietly hire himself a camper van for a week before the Test series he would soon realise just how ridiculous a notion that is. In New Zealand people expect their national team to win every week. That’s pressure. The Lions, in contrast, have won only six Tests against the All Blacks in 38 attempts. They will travel, as always, with undiluted hope in their hearts but absolutely nil in the way of expectation. That is what makes them such a glorious institution and, it seems, is giving Hansen and his squad slight palpitations. Every Lions tour has this fear of the unknown at its soul: there is no footage available to pore over because the team have never played, no precedent in the professional era other than the Lions’ disjointed expedition in 2005. New Zealand do not know what is about to happen, primarily because their guests have no firm idea either. In many ways the Lions are a state of mind: get that right and everything else looks after itself. Perhaps the best tip for all involved is to read When Lions Roared, the outstanding book about the memorable 1971 Lions tour to be published on Thursday. The authors, Tom English and Peter Burns, have either interviewed, commissioned or tracked down first-person testimony from a wide range of leading figures who experienced the most legendary of all tours at first hand. Barry John, Willie John McBride, Colin “Pinetree” Meads, Gareth Edwards – so evocative are their recollections the intervening 46 years instantly melt away. On all sort of levels, it is a http://www.authenticmilwaukeebrewers.com/Wily-Peralta-Jersey compelling read. The quality of the Lions backs, the coaching intelligence of Carwyn James, the shrewd management of Doug Smith, the growing Kiwi horror at what was unfolding: all of it feels strangely fresh, partly because it is so well told and partly because so much fascinating detail has lain untouched for ages. To read of the simmering private antipathy between one or two Lions forwards or the manager John Spencer’s view of the soothsayer James – “I didn’t think he was the greatest coach” – is to be instantly jolted upright. To relive the full gory details of the savage game with Canterbury is also to be reminded of the era’s more psychopathic excesses. Forty years on: When we saw fantasy rugby in New Zealand Martin Kelner Read more John’s brilliance shines equally clearly through every chapter. One of his constant refrains was to call his forwards “donkeys” and blithely tell them: “Just get me the ball and I’ll do the rest.” The great Irish prop Ray McLoughlin recalls the Welsh fly-half asking him roughly three times a week: “Remind me again, Ray, are you a loosehead donkey or a tighthead donkey?” Imagine a No10 today deciding to copy John’s actions at Hawke’s Bay: sitting on the ball in protest at the rough http://www.authenticfloridapanthers.com/authentic-jason-demers-jersey physical treatment he was receiving, with the crowd screaming “kill, kill, kill” and the onrushing home forwards more than happy to oblige. Other searing images include the battered post-Lancaster Park face of Sandy Carmichael, not to mention the picture of the Taranaki prop Jazz Muller flying into contact with a cocked boot at waist height. This was more than a fizzing masterclass in backline artistry that led to a tactical sea-change in New Zealand rugby thinking. Spanning over three months, with officially sanctioned player expenses of 75p per day, it was the ultimate expedition: part raw-boned odyssey, part voyage of discovery, part sporting war. The moral of the story? That true heroes are not necessarily the ones who get paid the most or stay successful for the longest consecutive period. They are the ones who front up on foreign soil when no one gives them much of a chance, soak up everything their opponents have to offer, laugh uproariously in the face of adversity and, 46 years on, still recall the stories as if it were yesterday. “I often think about the individual sports, about people who win the men’s singles at Wimbledon or the Open at golf,” concludes Mike Gibson, the incomparable Irish centre. “There is nobody at that winning moment who can understand how the person feels. As Lions we had 30 people sharing the moment – and all of them understood.” If today’s Lions Jeff Carter Authentic Jersey – and Hansen – fully want to appreciate what lies ahead, they should hasten to the nearest bookshop
Created: May 18 '17 · Admin: yehongkun362330