Defence coach Shaun Edwards has achieved the first part of a career dream by joining the 2009 Lions tour to South Africa.
Edwards, who currently holds roles with both Wasps and Wales, was delighted to accept the invitation to become a Lion but has since admitted that he will only feel truly satisfied if he helps guide the tourists to a series win.
“It’s one of the things you dream about and now it’s come to fruition,” said Edwards, who guided Wales to Grand Slam success earlier this year, with the Dragons conceding just two tries along the way.
“There’s a multitude of things that contribute to a successful series and there’s no doubt that one of them is a strong defensive unit. We’re coming up against the World Champions in their own backyard in a three-match Test series, with two of those Tests at altitude, so we’re well aware of the challenge.
“But, if we can put it together as a team and be united both on and off the pitch, I’m sure we’ve got it within our capabilities to certainly give the South Africans a run for their money and, hopefully, win.”
Edwards may have made his name in rugby league, making 467 appearances for Wigan and scoring 1,140 points, but he is acutely aware of the tradition and history that accompanies rugby union’s greatest touring side.
“I’m very aware of the great names that have preceded me and I’m absolutely determined not to disgrace the jersey in any shape or form. I’ll be giving 100 per cent of my efforts to make sure that we can come back with a series victory.
“It’s obviously incredibly exciting and it’s also going to be very challenging. I’m absolutely delighted to be involved but, as I’ve said, I’m very aware of the responsibilities.”