Few players had a more memorable tour then England lock Geoff Parling and after returning to Leicester Tigers this week the 29-year-old praised the ‘traditional’ values of the British & Irish Lions trip Down Under.
Parling began the series as second-choice to Ireland’s Paul O’Connell, but after injury ruled the former British & Irish Lions captain out of the tour following the first Test, the Leicester Tiger started both the second and final Tests during the historic 2-1 win.
The England international also captained the midweek side for the 35-0 win over the Melbourne Rebels, just days after his wife had given birth to his baby daughter, May.
And while the list of highs from his trip Down Under is lengthy Parling, revealed it was the old-fashioned values of the trip which made it so special.
"It was great to be a part of it, and it was a nice country to visit as well," said Parling.
"I really enjoyed it, and especially enjoyed the traditional side of the tour.
"I liked how the opposition would come into our changing room afterwards and we would swap shirts and have a beer.
"With rugby these days, you tend to do your recovery, have your food and then you head off – so that was nice to hang around.
"It was also good that the management took us out for a few drinks as soon as we got to Hong Kong, because us and the Leinster lads (who had been involved in their domestic final like Leicester) had missed out on two weeks of getting to know everyone.
"I really enjoyed the group and it was no trouble getting to know people who you normally play against from different countries, because that is part-and-parcel of playing professional rugby.
"They were a good bunch of lads and they were a good management group, too."