Taylor was part of the historic tour to New Zealand 27 years ago, to date the only series triumph over the All Blacks in 120 years of Lions touring. The former London Welsh back row is still a keen student of the game and he believes that McGeechan and Davies can help the Lions put the last two tour defeats firmly behind them.
â00Gerald and Geech have already said that theyâ00re going to take a small party,â0 says Taylor, who won 26 caps for his country between 1967 and 1973.
â00They are all going to tour around together and theyâ00re not going to make decisions before they go.
â00I think itâ00s a particularly important tour. They need to put a marker down for the Lions again and show that itâ00s not an outdated concept.â0
John Taylor was part of an historic series win in New Zealand in 1971
Taylor feels that Sir Clive Woodward and his coaching team made a mistake in not identifying and grooming the Test side early enough in 2005. It is not an error that he anticipates McGeechan and Davies making in eight months time.
â00I think youâ00ve got to be ruthless and get your Test side selected fairly quickly. You need to be very decisive and get that team playing together. They went into the first Test in 2005 with a team that had never played together but in 2009 I think it will be the opposite.
â00You do tend to find that the Test team sorts itself out fairly quickly, but thereâ00s always a few surprises. In 1997, on the last tour to South Africa which they won, I think Jason Leonard and Dai Young were the two favourite props before they went out yet it was Paul Wallace and Tom Smith who ended up as the first-choice Test players. That will always happen on a Lions tour. Itâ00s the people who show themselves to be terrific tourists that manage to succeed.
â00To me, itâ00s vitally important that the Lions return to that sort of mindset.â0