Former coach speaks out over the direction of the program ahead of deciding Test match.
Twelve years after the British and Irish Lions lost their series against Australia in Sydney a former coach of the side beleives if history was to repeat itself, the Lions brand would be tarnished.
Sir Neil Henry, who coached the Lions during their fateful 2001 tour of Australia, said while the Lions side was a great advertisement for the sport, it would take a hit if their losing streak continued.
“The Lions brand is phenomenal for rugby,” Henry said.
“But how can we sustain it?
“If the Aussies win on Saturday, they (the Lions) go to New Zealand in four years’ time and wouldn’t have won for 20 years.
“So I wonder whether they need to look at the tours, whether they need to be that long.”
The tough tour has claimed its fair share of injuries for the Lions, with perhaps the biggest being forward leaders Paul O’Connell and captain Sam Warburton.
Henry revealed he had his own injury concerns before the corresponding game 12 years ago, saying he had just eight fit players on the Tuesday, just four days before kick-off.
The former coach said Wallabies leader Robbie Deans would be pushing the virtue of patience, saying that in a likely even game, the side who keeps their head and does not rush passes, will triumph.
“I’d say Robbie’s talking about patience this week – (Deans is saying) we don’t need to push those passes,” Henry said.
“They looked likely at times (in Melbourne) and then they turned the ball over because they couldn’t be patient.
“So I would imagine he’s (Deans) talked about that … I imagine they will try and build the game for longer this week.”