Lions’ pain lingers

Australian Rugby's main man says the Lions will have spent the past decade looking back at the 2001 tour with ifs, buts and maybes. [more]

Lions’ pain lingers

Australian Rugby’s main man says the Lions will have spent the past decade looking back at the 2001 tour with ifs, buts and maybes.

The Lions narrowly lost a stunning series against the Wallabies 11 years ago as the hosts bounced back from a first Test battering in Brisbane.

The Wallabies won the final two encounters in Melbourne and Sydney as they lived up to their billing as the world’s best.

The pain of that reverse lingered long and hard for Britain and Ireland’s elite – especially as a series victory has evaded them on the two tours that have followed – and ARU chief John O’Neill believes the desire to finally put things right Down Under will make the class of 2013 even more dangerous opposition.

“The British & Irish Lions are steeped in history and when they come to Australia next year they will do so keen to reverse the result of their last outing in 2001,” said O’Neill.

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“Lions tours are synonymous for creating history and the 2001 series was certainly filled with ‘where were you when it happened’ moments.

“The Lions will have had 12-years to ponder ‘what if’ and next year they will come to these shores ready to make amends.

“The stage is certainly set for one of the biggest sporting contests to be played out in Australia next year.”

The Lions play 10 games on tour next summer, nine of which will be in Australia.

After kicking off the adventure against the Barbarians in Hong Kong on June 1, the Lions take on all five Australian Super 15 franchises and a combined New South Wales/Queensland Country outfit, as well as facing the Wallabies in a three-Test series.

For the full list of Lions fixtures in 2013, please click here

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