All time SANZAR XV – Head Coach

Your dream British & Irish Lions XV of all-time has been picked - but which players stand the best chance of toppling them? Here we look at the stand-out Springboks, All Blacks and Wallabies at each position, with the next installment of this series looking at the head coaches: tell us who you think should make the team, we'll add up the votes and publish the all-time SANZAR XV, as selected by the fans. [more]

All time SANZAR XV – Head Coach

Your dream British & Irish Lions XV of all-time has been picked – but which players stand the best chance of toppling them? Here we look at the stand-out Springboks, All Blacks and Wallabies at each position, with the next installment of this series looking at the head coaches: tell us who you think should make the team, we’ll add up the votes and publish the all-time SANZAR XV, as selected by the fans.

The Lions have come face-to-face with some of the game’s greatest coaches, but it seems the All Blacks have caused them the greatest strife over the years.

Much like the year just gone, 2005 was a productive time for New Zeland, as Sir Graham Henry’s side romped to a 3-0 series win over the Lions before clinching the Tri-Nations.

Sir Graham went on to enjoy six more years in charge of the All Blacks, cementing his status as a true great – even if he hadn’t led the Lions to victory in Australia four years earlier.

Going back to 1993, Laurie Mains – a man who made his All Blacks debut against the Lions – led New Zealand in their welcome of the tourists.

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He coached them to a 2-1 series victory against Sir Ian McGeechan’s Lions before reaching the now momentous World Cup final two years later.

Bryce Rope, who sadly passed away last year, left a dark mark on Lions history when he led the All Blacks to a 4-0 whitewash four years earlier.

After three close tests, New Zealand spread their wings in the fourth clash at Eden Park, romping to a 38-6 win to ensure Rope’s name lasted in Lions folklore.

And digging deeper into the history books, the Jack Gleeson-led All Blacks of 1977 and Sir Fred Allen’s crop in 1966 were ruthless, claiming a 3-1 win and a 4-0 triumph respectively.

From the Springbok quarters two names stand out, the first of which is former South Africa scrum-half and captain Nelie Smith.

Smith took his country to a 3-1 series victory in 1980, against Noel Murphy’s touring party, while South Africa’s most recent series, led by Peter de Villiers brought another victory.Often outspoken, de Villiers still did some of his talking on the pitch.

He led the Springboks to a 2-1 series win that completed a Lions clean sweep, with Australia, New Zealand and South Africa combining to win three straight series.

And finally Australia, against whom the Lions have repeatedly had the most success across their history – but not in 2001.

Rod Macqueen bowed out at the top, retiring as Wallabies head coach off the back of a 2-1 series victory over a highly-rated Lions squad, led by Martin Johnson.

Two years earlier he had led Australia to World Cup victory and he left the post with a win percentage of just below 80 per cent.

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