Oh, how the times have changed. Historically, players would have found out about their selection for a Lions Tour via a letter in the post. There are some great anecdotes about this, especially in 1997 when Austin Healy was living with Will Greenwood. Two letters came in the door that morning which meant both players were selected only for Healy to pocket Greenwood’s letter and let him on that he wasn’t selected for the rest of the morning.
Now, however, with social media at the fore and the live broadcast of the selection on television, there is a completely new means to find out the squad selection.
In Episode 1 of Land Rover’s series, Tracking The Lions, we catch a glimpse of Brian O’Driscoll and Martin Johnson chatting with George North, Jack McGrath, George Kruis and Dan Cole.
The lads ask the players how they found out about their selection and typically, Cole’s revelation is pretty straightforward, which we kind of expect from a no-nonsense player like himself.
“Ah yeah, well I just sat at home, watching it on TV,” Cole admitted.
However, Saracens lock Kruis had a much more confusing scenario as he watched in a room of 30-40 people at Saracens HQ. Six players from Saracens have been picked in this year’s squad, the most from any other club, so one can only imagine the excitement in the room that ensued.
“We were in Sarries, watching it with 30 or 40 lads, drum rolling each other. I found it really awkward actually because I’m dyslexic! So I was really disappointed and then obviously [when I realised] to get the call up, it was brilliant.”
You can watch the full video below as McGrath explains how he is going to prepare for this year’s Tour in addition to North’s favourite moment of the 2013 Lions Tour to Australia.