â00The most important thing about a Lions tour is to get all the players from different countries together,â0 said Williams, who appeared in eight consecutive Tests for the Lions in 1971 and 1974.
â00Thatâ00s why I am glad they are sharing rooms on this tour. Itâ00s a good way of getting the team bonding.â0
The concept of the Lions focuses on bringing rivals together under one banner â00 something the tourists achieved magnificently the last time Ian McGeechan toured as head coach in 1997.
Having himself starred on two winning tours in a golden era for Lions, Williams fully understands the need to create a bond between players and coaches in what will be a physically and mentally demanding environment.
â00Itâ00s about playing with players you played against in the Six Nations, getting to know them and gelling as a team,â0 explained the 59-year-old former Bridgend stalwart.
â00Itâ00s about being a British and Irish team and, however patriotic one is playing for your country, itâ00s a real step up playing for the Lions. It really is the pinnacle of any British or Irish rugby playerâ00s career.
â00Itâ00s creating camaraderie. The strength is in the guys who are not playing in the Tests. They are the ones who are pushing you. I was fortunate to play in the Test matches but we had great support from the squad.
â00Over in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, itâ00s you as the Lions against the whole of that home country.â0
JPR Williams (centre) knows the special bond a Lions tour can create
Williams believes his former Lions team-mate McGeechan has got it spot on in terms of the size of the squad he will be taking to South Africa, especially after the outcome of the most-recent Lions outing three-and-a-half years ago.
â00In 2005, there were too many players and too many administrators. Having so many players and so many backroom staff, itâ00s impossible to get everyone together. Itâ00s hard enough with 35 players - we were a bare 30 players in â0071 and â0074. With South Africa, if you do have a lot of injuries, you can send for replacements.
â00The hype comes a long time before the tour, but the good thing is that the squad will be picked after the Six Nations, and, hopefully, players on form will be the ones who will be picked.â0