The man who went on to captain his country during the 2005 and 2006 seasons was plying his trade with England in Canada when he learnt of his late call up to Graham Henryâ00s squad seven years ago. Injury to Simon Taylor resulted in a hectic summer for Corry, who made his Lions debut just a day after arriving Down Under. He went on to play in all three Tests, doing exactly what was asked of him during the 29-13 victory over the Wallabies in the opening rubber.
Four years later, Corry found himself part of the original touring party as the Lions prepared to face the All Blacks. Again, Corry played in all three Tests, starting the first and coming on as a replacement in Wellington and Auckland.
Having led England against Italy and Scotland during the 2005 Six Nations, he skippered the Lions against Taranaki in the second game on tour in New Zealand and also took over from Brian Oâ00Driscoll for the majority of the first Test after the Irishman left the field injured in Christchurch.
There was a double celebration for Corry during that Taranaki game three years ago as he scored his first try in Lions colours. Corryâ00s second and final Lions score arrived in the 100-point demolition of Manawatu in between the first and second Tests.
Martin Corryâ00s factfile
Date of birth: October 12 1973
Clubs: Newcastle Gosforth, Bristol, Leicester Tigers
International caps: England 64
Height: 6ft 5in (1.96m)
Weight: 17 stone 10lbs (113kg)
Corryâ00s Lions lowdown
Lions debut: Versus Queensland Presidents XV, June 12, 2001
Lions Tests: 6 (All three Tests in 2001 and all three Tests in 2005)
Lions non-Test appearances: 9
Total Lions appearances: 15 (seven in 2001, eight in 2005)
Lions points: 10 (two tries)
Final Lions appearance: Versus New Zealand , Auckland, July 5, 2005
Martin Corry earned a surprise call up for the 2001 Lions tour
On the Lions aura
â00There was always a mythical status about the Lions. It wasnâ00t a case of â00you can achieve thisâ00. It was a sense that â00this is the Lionsâ00 and there was a real aura about it and an aura about the players.
â00My goal was always to play for England. Once youâ00ve played for England, then you say â00Iâ00d love to play for the Lionsâ00, but itâ00s very hard to have the Lions as a goal. Iâ00ll always put it up there so, so high.
On the plus side of being called up late in 2001
â00It did make it easier being called up late. Thereâ00s wasnâ00t any time to dwell on it. It was more a case of, â00How am I going to get to Australia, what am I going to do, is there going to be someone there to meet me, will someone be waiting for me?â00
â00When I got there, it was literally a case of â00Hereâ00s your playbook. You need to learn this because youâ00re playing tomorrow.â00 It was all a massive rush. With jet lag and everything, I didnâ00t really know where I was. I then played the Saturday as well so it was all about trying to focus on the games rather than thinking, â00Iâ00m on a Lions tourâ00.
On creating team spirit
â00I think the great thing with the Lions is that everyone realises that you need to get to know each other. Youâ00ve been knocking lumps out of each other throughout the year and thereâ00s got to be a new bond. Everyone works hard to create that and all the players realise that itâ00s something special when youâ00re out there.â0
On selection for the first Test in 2001
â00It was a real surprise to get selected for the first Test. I found out in bizarre circumstances. I went down to the team meeting and Richard Hill came up and tapped me on the bum and said â00Congratulations mateâ00. I said â00What do you meanâ00 and he replied, â00Oh, donâ00t you know?â00 I said â00Ok, tell me what you knowâ00 and he told me I was in. They tried to do this big presentation on the team but Iâ00d already found out!â0
On that stunning first Test win over the Wallabies
â00That first Test was one of the highlights of my career. When I look back at it, I probably still canâ00t realise the enormity of the occasion. Everything about it, the build up, the crowd, was amazing. We were running out there thousands of miles from home and 75 percent of the crowd were wearing red shirts. Then, with the way we played, everything was just a dream moment.â0
On losing the series in Australia
â00While the first Test was one of my career highlights, two weeks later was one of the real low points. We should have won the second Test and then we allowed too many mistakes to creep into our game in the third Test. It was a series defeat that hurts because we should have won it. It was very disappointing but, having said that, it was the first time I got to play on that kind of stage so I really enjoyed it.â0
The series defeat in 2001 was a huge disappointment for Corry (l)
On moving on in 2001
â00As a club, Leicester has a great way of bringing you back down to earth quite quickly. We came back and I got married so that brought me back down to earth pretty quickly as well. You start preparing for the new season and, with rugby, whatever happened last week is last week. You forget about it very quickly and start planning for whatâ00s next.â0
On a disappointing tour in 2005
â00When you look back at 2001, that was a massive high for me, but 2005 was a big disappointment. To go over there and be uncompetitive was frustrating. When you get on the biggest stage you want to play your best rugby and the Lions fell well short. That was disappointing but, as an organisation, I think theyâ00ve learned a hell of a lot from that and that bodes very well for South Africa.â0
Corry was a try scorer against Manawatu on the last Lions tour to New Zealand
On another tour in 2009
â00Iâ00ll be on the Lions tour, I can guarantee you. I wonâ00t be playing, but Iâ00ll be there! Iâ00ll be out there having a good time. Saying that, you never know. Look at Andy Nicol in 2001, he was out there having fun and he still got in the squad for the final game so never say never!â0