The British & Irish Lions

Tour to New Zealand 2017

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Ian McGeechan

Ian McGeechan

DOB30th Oct 1946
BirthplaceHeadingley
Height1.76 m
Weight71 kg
PositionCentre
HonoursScotland / Lions

Two tours, eight Tests

(1974: 4 Tests; 1977: 4 Tests)

Coach 1989, 1993, 1997

Ian McGeechan Scotland director of rugby Ian McGeechan belongs to a small, select band of men who have played for and coached the British & Irish Lions. But even among this elite, McGeechan is out on his own as a three-times coach with two series victories to his name.

When the Leeds-born centre went on his first Lions tour, to South Africa in 1974, he and Ireland midfielder Dick Milliken were considered likely understudies to the perceived front-runners of Geoff Evans and Roy Bergiers.

However, both played their way into the Test team - McGeechan with his jinking, balanced running, positional awareness and a dependable defence that belied his slight physique - and then kept the great Mike Gibson on the margins when he arrived as a replacement.

Three years later, McGeechan went to New Zealand as one of the senior hands, again playing in all four Tests and captaining the Lions against Poverty Bay-East Coast and New Zealand Universities .

Sufficiently versatile to play five of his 14 games in 1974 as a stand-off, he also replaced JJ Williams on the wing during the third Test of 1977.

By 1989, McGeechan was transferring the success he enjoyed as Scotland coach to the same position with the Lions as they won the series against Australia 2-1, a success notable for the way they turned the rubber round after a heavy 30-12 defeat in the first Test.

Four years later, the coach was now on the losing side in New Zealand , although the Lions did produce their biggest win over the All Blacks in the second Test and were denied victory in the opener only by a controversial last-minute penalty.

In 1997, McGeechan completed his coaching hat-trick in the sweetest manner, by repeating the series victory in South Africa he experienced as a player.

The defeat of the Springboks was a tactical triumph for the Scot and his right-hand man Jim Telfer, who startled the odds-on favourites with the Lions' innovative running patterns and aggressive defence.

By the time South Africa caught their breath, they were 2-0 down and the series was over. And McGeechan's reward? A free head shave from Keith Wood, demon barber of Limerick.

Current Season Stats

Date Opposition Tries Conv DG Pen YC RC Pts Mins
18/05/1977
Wairarapa/Bush








25/05/1977
Poverty Bay/East Coast
2





8

01/06/1977
Wanganui/King County








11/06/1977
Southland








14/06/1977
NZ Universities








18/06/1977
New Zealand








22/06/1977
S/Mid Canterbury/North Otago








02/07/1977
Wellington








09/07/1977
New Zealand








16/07/1977
Waikato








20/07/1977
New Zealand Juniors








30/07/1977
New Zealand








06/08/1977
North Auckland
1





4

09/08/1977
Bay of Plenty








13/08/1977
New Zealand








16/08/1977
Fiji








Total Played 16 3
0
0
0
0
0
12
0

Previous Season Stats

CompetitionTeamPlayedTriesConvDGPenYCRCPts
1976-1977 - British & Irish Lions Tour
British & Irish Lions
14 +2
3





12
1976-1977 Total

14 +2
3





12
1973-1974 - British & Irish Lions Tour
British & Irish Lions
14
1

1



7
1973-1974 Total

14
1

1



7
Total - British & Irish Lions Tour

28 +2
4

1



19
Total

28 +2
4
0
1
0
0
0
19
Lions Legends
Two tours, two Tests, 1989-1993
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