â00The Raging Bullâ00 made his England debut against Wales in 1998 and went on to represent his country at the following yearâ00s World Cup. A member of Englandâ00s triumphant starting XV in the World Cup Final in Sydney four years later, Vickery helped banish some of the disappointment of the Lionsâ00 third Test defeat to the Wallabies in the same city in 2001.
Vickery was expected to become a double Lions tourist when Sir Clive Woodward selected his squad for the 2005 tour to New Zealand but injury preventing him from travelling to the Land of the Long White Cloud.
Now with London Wasps, a club he joined in 2006 after 11 years with Gloucester, Vickey is a leading contender for the 2009 Lions tour to South Africa.
Phil Vickeryâ00s factfile
Date of birth: March 14 1976
Clubs: Gloucester, London Wasps
International caps: England 64
Height: 6ft 3in (1.90m)
Weight: 19 stone 8lbs (122kg)
Vickeryâ00s Lions lowdown
Lions debut: Versus Western Australia, June 8, 2001
Lions Tests: 3 (All three Tests in 2001)
Lions non-Test appearances: 3
Total Lions appearances: 6
Lions points: 0
Most recent Lions appearance: Versus Australia, Sydney, July 14, 2001
Phil Vickery packs down with Keith Wood (centre) and Tom Smith (right)
On the 2001 tour
â0It was a massive event. In 2001, I was 24 so still reasonably young and it was something I always dreamed of. I watched Lions tours as a young man and I never really thought I would be involved in one.
â0It was fantastic, playing with Keith Wood and Tommy Smith. Obviously Dai Young was around and Scott Gibbs came out in the end, Brian Oâ00Driscoll etc. There were a lot of big names and I thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed it.
â0I thoroughly enjoyed the tour, although ultimately it finished in disappointment with losing the final Test match and losing the series.â0
On that famous first Test win over the Wallabies
â0The first Test in Brisbane at The Gabba is probably one of my greatest rugby memories and experiences. It was just phenomenal and Iâ00d never experienced anything like it. The support, the euphoria, the expectations, the pressure, the history and everything that surrounds the Lions makes it just a phenomenal thing to be involved in.â0
A varied tour: Vickery enjoys a trip to the set of Neighbours in 2001
On a special bond with the travelling support
â0You couldnâ00t go anywhere without being stopped. I think Iâ00ve got a pretty good relationship with all supporters, whether they are English, Scottish, Irish or Welsh but being embraced and being part of that with the Lions was truly a privilege. It was something I thoroughly enjoyed and was very pleased to be a part of.â0
On possible inclusion in 2009
â0Sometimes you have to keep a reality check on what you do. Weâ00re just very, very lucky in our jobs, in what we do here at London Wasps and playing with England and with the opportunities Iâ00ve had in plaiting for the Lions.
â00You should never lose sight of whatâ00s important to you and, ultimately, whatâ00s important to me is playing for London Wasps, being part of a successful team and a successful club. If that happens, hopefully, Iâ00ll be in with an opportunity to play for my country and if that goes well then, hopefully, Iâ00ll have an opportunity to play with the Lions. Iâ00ll never think any differently, never have done and never will.â0
Vickery has captained his country but is concentrating on his club form
On Ian McGeechan
â0Itâ00s great for Geech. Itâ00s fantastic that heâ00s got the opportunity and itâ00s fantastic that London Wasps have given him the opportunity to go. If all the players and management that go can be as enthusiastic and passionate about the game of rugby and particularly about the Lions as he is, it will be a very successful tour.â0