Fair play to him, he owned up in the end – and in front of the media as well! Shaun Edwards may be one of those people you would hate to play against in any sport, but at least he knows when he’s wrong.
In a highly competitive Media Quiz in a Johannesburg hostelry this week, the team that Lions assistant coach Edwards joined thought they ought to leave the choice of picking whether or not it was Gavin Henson or Mike Phillips in their picture question.
Edwards, of course, doubles up as the Welsh defence coach during the international windows and would surely know the difference between the spikey haired centre and the 6ft 3in tall scrum half. Surely?
Well, no actually. Edwards was adamant that it was Phillips when, in fact, it was Henson. It was a crucial error that cost his team dear – almost as much as it cost the team containing Eddie Butler.
As well as being a Wales captain and Lions replacement in 1983, Butler was convinced that Donal Lenihan had captained the Lions side against France in Paris in 1989. Wrong. It was, in fact, olne of the men who works alongside Eddie in the BBC commentary box during Six Nations matches, Ireland’s Phil Matthews.
It’s amazing what the passing of a few years, and a few glasses of Pinotage, can do to someone’s memory.
But back to the Edwards gaffe. When asked his view of his coach’s mistake, Phillips just laughed. “He just needs to know that I’m the good looking one of the two,” he said.
The announcement of the Springboks squad for the three Test Castle Series with the Lions was an all singing and dancing televisual extravaganza on SABC, with an audience allowed to quiz the coach and players on the 28 names.
It was a brave move by South African Rugby, the team and the broadcasters, but the hour long show from Johannesburg created a lot of attention. So much so that the SA Rugby website crashed through the demand of people logging on to watch the video stream of the announcement.
Who says it is only the Welsh who throw a dinner to commemorate their great victories. The Transvaal side that beat the 1968 Lions had a get together at Coaca Cola Park on the eve of Wednesday night’s clash between the now Xerox Golden Lions and the Lions.
The Golden Lions were born out of the old Transvaal Union and the Johannesburg-based team can boast the best record of any team against the Lions – seven wins and a draw from 17 games.
Their last win was against Tommy Kiernan’s 1968 tourists, home lock and skipper Toy Dannhauser kicking a vital penalty in a 14-6 triumph. In the centre for the Lions that day that day was none other than the current tour manager, Gerald Davies.
He was one of the honoured guests at the celebratory event, although he admitted before going that he couldn’t remember anything about the game. In fact, he was convinced to begin with that he hadn’t played in the match.
The history books don’t lie Gerald!
Stephen Ferris was the surprise winner of the first Lions golf day. The Ulster back row man won the Texas Scramble event and was pretty pleased with himself.
“I don’t play a lot, but I just seemed to be hitting the ball straight and long,” he said. Bandit!