But while the British & Irish Lions may be the underdogs for the three-match Castle Series against the world champions, McGeechan has seen it all before.
His 1997 Lions traveled in similar circumstances and emerged triumphant with a 2-1 Test series victory. That has given South African coach Peter de Villiers a 12-year itch to scratch and once Saturday's Super 14 final between the Bulls and Chiefs is over all eyes will turn to the Lions.
Ironically, the Lions will kick-off their 10-match tour on the same day that the Bulls, primed with Test stars like Victor Matfield, Bakkies Botha, Bryan Habana, Pierre Spies and Fourie du Preez, play in the southern hemisphere's equivalent to the Heineken Cup final.
It means the Lions will make their debut in Phokeng, at the Royal Bofokeng Palace, against the Royal XV with most South African rugby fans' thoughts focused on Pretoria.
But that will quickly change once the Super 14 is over. The Springboks announce their squad for the Castle Series on June 1 and then the pressure will really start to build.
As South Africa's record cap holder and points scorer Percy Montgomery admitted last week when he announced his retirement from playing, appearing in a Test series against the Lions is probably the only thing that ranks above the World Cup.
Montgomery made the first of his 102 appearances for the Springboks against the Lions 12 years ago and has joined forces with de Villiers back-room staff as a kicking consultant to give John Smit's group the benefit of his experience.
There were a few fans at the airport in Johannesburg to welcome the Lions and McGeechan happily signed autographs with some of his players before they were whisked away to their hotel.
After a week of preparations at the Pennyhill Park Hotel it is now down to the main business of the summer - beating the Boks.
2009 British & Irish Lions tour party
Full Backs: Lee Byrne (Wales / Ospreys), Rob Kearney (Ireland / Leinster),
Wings: Shane Williams (Wales / Ospreys), Tommy Bowe (Ireland / Ospreys), Luke Fitzgerald (Ireland / Leinster), Leigh Halfpenny (Wales / Cardiff Blues - joining the squad once rehab on a thigh injury is complete), Ugo Monye (England / Harlequins)
Centres: Jamie Roberts (Wales / Cardiff Blues), Brian O'Driscoll (Ireland / Leinster), Keith Earls (Ireland / Munster),Riki Flutey (England / London Wasps)
Fly-halves: James Hook (Wales / Ospreys), Stephen Jones (Wales / Scarlets), Ronan O'Gara (Ireland / Munster)
Scrum-halves: Mike Phillips (Wales / Ospreys), Harry Ellis (England / Leicester Tigers), Mike Blair (Scotland / Edinburgh)
Back Row: Jamie Heaslip (Ireland / Leinster), Andy Powell (Wales / Cardiff Blues), Martyn Williams (Wales / Cardiff Blues), Joe Worsley (England / London Wasps), Stephen Ferris (Ireland / Ulster), David Wallace (Ireland / Munster), Tom Croft (England / Leicester Tigers)
Second Row: Alun-Wyn Jones (Wales / Ospreys), Paul O'Connell (Ireland / Munster, captain), Donncha O'Callaghan (Ireland / Munster), Simon Shaw (England / London Wasps), Nathan Hines (Scotland / Perpignan)
Props: Andrew Sheridan (England / Sale Sharks), Phil Vickery (England / London Wasps), Euan Murray (Scotland / Northampton Saints), Gethin Jenkins (Wales / Cardiff Blues), Adam Jones (Wales / Ospreys)
Hookers: Ross Ford (Scotland / Edinburgh), Lee Mears (England / Bath), Matthew Rees (Wales / Scarlets)