Lions Uncovered: Forgotten moments from the British & Irish Lions 2017 tour documentary


2:21 Relive the tension and emotions of the players as they find out they have earned a place on the 2017 Lions tour.

Squad announcement day is a nerve-racking time for all of the players involved as they will find out whether or not they have made the cut for a Lions tour.

In 2017, we got a feel of just what it was like for players from all four home unions as tour manager John Spencer announced the initial 41-man squad, along with hearing from George North, Alun Wyn Jones and Kyle Sinckler.

2. Choir practice

2:16 The Lions squad rehearse some of the songs they will be singing on tour, with Greig Laidlaw offering some pointers.

Singing songs on tour is one of rugby union’s great traditions and the 2017 Lions tour to New Zealand was no different, with Gatland informing the team they would be practising regularly.

Having picked the songs which would make up their repertoire, the squad then embarked on some practice before heading to New Zealand – with Greig Laidlaw particularly keen to show how it was done.

3. ‘Sorry, I’m not sure what you said’

0:32 Andy Farrell’s team meeting with the Lions is interrupted by technology, causing much amusement among the players.

Modern technology has brought many helpful innovations, but there are times it can interfere in frustrating ways – such as when holding a team meeting.

Andy Farrell found that out when he was talking about players coming to him for extra training sessions, with some voice recognition software announcing it was unclear on what point he was making.

4. The Lions visit the Waitangi Treaty grounds

1:28 The Lions pay a visit to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds and are given a traditional welcome by Maori warriors.

There is more than just training and playing rugby as part of any Lions tour, with the squad doing work in the community and visiting cultural and historical sites.

Few are more important in New Zealand than the grounds where the Treaty of Waitangi between representatives of the British Crown and the Maoris was signed in 1840, and the 2017 tourists were taken there where they were given a traditional greeting.

5. Cory Hill’s introduction

0:32 Cory Hill gives a presentation to the Lions squad after being called up midway through the tour.

Part way through the 2017 tour, Gatland brought in six players to the squad to provide cover during the midweek games and they needed to be quickly integrated into the set-up.

They were welcomed by the players already out there with open arms and Cory Hill, in particular, did himself no harm by giving a humorous presentation about himself to the rest of the team.

6. The aftermath

0:55 The aftermath of the third Test between the Lions and New Zealand, which ended in a draw and saw the series finish 1-1.

With the All Blacks taking the honours in the first Test and the Lions hitting back in the second, the series was poised for a gripping decider in Auckland.

Ultimately though, it finished 15-15 after 80 minutes of hard-fought rugby which meant the series finished 1-1. As captains Kieran Read and Sam Warburton jointly collected the trophy, the players were left with a chance to reflect on an incredible conclusion.


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