Geech to move backstage?

Legendary Lion Ian McGeechan has revealed that he would love to play a part in the 2013 tour of Australia but not as head coach. [more]

Geech to move backstage?

Legendary Lion Ian McGeechan has revealed that he would love to play a part in the 2013 tour of Australia but not as head coach.

The 62-year-old led the Lions to South Africa this summer as Britain and Ireland’s elite came so close to toppling the world champion Springboks.

McGeechan has now acted as a coach on a staggering five Lions tours having also featured twice as a player in 1974 and 1977.

McGeechan led the Lions to Australia in 1989, New Zealand in 1993 and South Africa in 1997 and 2009 and was also part of Sir Clive Woodward’s coaching staff when the Lions faced the All Blacks four years ago.

And he still hopes to play a part in the next trip Down Under, albeit in aiding the preparation rather than in a hands-on coaching role. 

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“If it suits the Lions Board, I’m very keen to be involved in the planning for Australia in 2013,” said McGeechan.

“Getting the pre-tour stuff right is vital. We had to battle against that in South Africa. It’s in everybody’s interest that the Lions are competitive. That means the build up itinerary has to be spot on, so too the calibre of opponent. 

"I’d like to have an involvement using my experience to try to make the preparation as good as it could possibly be so that the head coach, whoever that may be, has something to build on.”

But while McGeechan doesn’t wish to say goodbye to the Lions just yet, he admits that it is unlikely that he will tour again.

McGeechan sees his skills best utilized in a pre-tour capacity rather than as party leader in Australia. 

"Generally you coach the Lions only once and that makes it a great opportunity for coaches as well as players,” added the former Northampton and Scotland boss.

"But I’ve been head coach four times already, plus the other tours. 

"I cannot have such an involvement again. If I were to go for an eighth time I think I would be pretty greedy! 

"The head coach won’t be me. There is no way that I have become too important at all or that I am the only one who can make it work.”

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