Jeremy Guscott

Jeremy Guscott

Three tours, 8 Tests, 1989-1997

Three tours, 8 Tests, 1989-1997

(1989: 2 Tests; 1993: 3 tests, 1997: 3 Tests)

Jeremy Guscott To say that Jeremy Guscott was a player for the big occasion is like observing that Busby Berkeley liked to put on a show.

The Bath centre scored a hat-trick on his England debut in May 1989 and followed that up by scoring the most outrageous of tries in his first Lions Test just two months later.

He enhanced his reputation again in New Zealand in 1993 and then confirmed his place in Lions folklore on his third tour by dropping the audacious goal that sealed series victory over the Springboks.

If conservative tactics were called for, then Guscott was unlikely to be your man; hence his omission from the first Test line-up against Australia in 1989. But when the hiding the Lions received prompted a switch to a more daring approach for the second contest, his was one of the first names on the team-sheet.

He did not disappoint. With the Lions leading by a single point and desperate not to concede possession in the dying minutes, Guscott backed himself against the Wallaby defence by sliding a delicious grubber kick behind the advancing rearguard.

Gliding through the gold jerseys in pursuit of his kick, he saw the ball sit up right on cue just as he arrived to collect it and skate over for the clinching try.

Eight years later, Guscott showed he had lost none of his appetite for seizing the moment - and the limelight.

Leading the series against South Africa 1-0, the Lions had been on the ropes for almost the entire second Test, but with four minutes to play Neil Jenkins' goalkicking had kept them level at 15-15 and they were now on the attack inside the Springbok 22.

With Gregor Townsend having taken the ball into a ruck, Guscott stepped in at stand-off, took Matt Dawson's pass and coolly dropped the goal that gave the Lions the series.

Guscott's eight Test appearances make him the Lions' most capped centre, jointly with Mike Gibson. It says everything about him that he would be quite at home in such company.

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