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Mike Teague

Mike Teague.

Two tours, two Tests, 1989-1993

Two tours, two Tests, 1989-1993

(1989: 2 Tests)

Without the injured Mike Teague for the opening Test of the 1989 series , that year's British and Irish Lions suffered their heaviest defeat by Australia . With the England loose-forward restored to the pack for the final two matches, they became the only Lions ever to come from 1-0 down to win a series.

The force of the Gloucester builder's driving play in the loose, the strength with which he could cling to possession until support arrived, even in the tightest of corners, and the quality of his support play in the lineout all made him a clear winner of the title of player of the series.

Teague had made his England debut in 1985 but then drifted out of the picture until storming back into Lions contention as an ever-present for his country in 1988-89.

The 28-year-old's powerful drives from the set-piece quickly made him as key a player for the Lions as he was for England, only for a shoulder injury to rule him out of the opening Test.

Without him, the tourists were beaten 30-12 and the pack defeated all over the field, in the set-piece and at the breakdown. Teague's return changed all that.

The Lions won the series with two victories built on the platform of a hard-nosed forward effort that had the West Countryman at its heart. He shored up the lineout and set a barn-storming example for his team-mates to follow. They did and the Lions seized their slice of history .

Teague went on to help drive England into the 1991 World Cup final and rounded offhis international career by making a second Lions tour, to New Zealand in 1993, although on this occasion he was kept out of the Test team by another player of the series, Ben Clarke.

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