Sir Ian McGeechan has reiterated the importance of planning ahead of the 2013 Lions tour to Australia.
Britain and Ireland’s elite travel Down Under in three years time looking to avenge three straight series defeats to the big guns of the southern hemisphere.
McGeechan knows better than anyone what is required to beat the world’s best, having tasted success as a player in South Africa in 1974 before leading the Lions to glory in the same country in 1997 and in Australia eight years earlier.
The legendary Lion coach led the Lions once more last summer and the former Scotland centre says pre-tour preparations will play a big part if the Lions are to avenge their 2001 series loss to the Wallabies.
"Previously the opposition and travel has all been in place before the head coach is appointed," said McGeechan, who has suggested he would like to play his part in the planning but not in the coaching of the 2013 Lions.
"In South Africa we played the first Test in Durban, then went midweek to Cape Town and then travelled to Pretoria [for the second Test] at the worst time possible to go back to high altitude.
"I know Australia is not the same in terms of altitude but it does involve long-distance travel. When you play, where you play and how you are setting it up will be key for the Lions.
"Unless you have been involved in the game, you don't understand what it takes to put a professional tour together."