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2009 Lions Audio: Ian McGeechan

2009 Lions Audio: Ian McGeechan

“We’re all looking at players, particularly in the autumn internationals…the Heineken Cup games and the Six Nations…and then we’ll have a month where we’re looking at the last ten or twelve selections. We’ll look at a squad of 60 to 65 that we’ll earmark in January and then we’ll get that down to 35 or 36 in April.” Ian McGeechan explains how he and the Lions coaches will go about selecting players for the 2009 tour.

Ian McGeechan was appointed head coach for the 2009 British & Irish Lions tour to South Africa on May 14 last.

It will be McGeechan’s fifth trip as a coach and his seventh tour in total as he also toured South Africa in 1974 (four Tests) and New Zealand in 1977 (four Tests) as a player.

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In 2005 he took over as director of rugby at London Wasps – a position he still holds – and in his first season he guided Wasps to the Powergen Anglo Welsh Cup title.

He followed that up with the Heineken Cup in 2007 and the Guinness Premiership Final title last season.

Speaking after Wednesday’s Lions announcement in Dublin, McGeechan gave his views on the coaching staff assembled for the 2009 tour to South Africa and the criteria for player selection.

He also looks back on his past experiences with the Lions as both a player and coach and explains his outlook for next year’s Test series.

Click here to listen to the interview in full.