As big as it gets

Thu, 03 Jan 2013 14:33
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Rob Andrew rates the 1989 B&I Lions tour to Australia as one of the highlights of his career.

One of the stars of the last victorious British and Irish Lions tour to Australia ranks that 1989 series success Down Under as one of the highlights of his stellar career.

Flyhalf Rob Andrew guided the Lions to wins in Brisbane and Sydney as Britain and Ireland's elite over turned a 1-0 deficit to head for home with the narrowest of triumphs.

Andrew wasn't an original selection for the tour yet he returned to England with his reputation greatly enhanced thanks to the calmness and quiet authority he displayed against Aussie opposite number Michael Lynagh.

And while the now 49-year-old would go on to win 71 caps and three Grand Slams for his country, feature in the 1991 World Cup Final, taste league glory with Wasps and Premiership success with Newcastle, as well as start all three Tests on the 1993 Lions tour of New Zealand, that stunning comeback Down Under is hard to beat when it comes to his all-time highs.

"It was about as big as it gets, for me personally and for the squad," said Andrew, who was called up for his first Lions adventure after Ireland's Paul Deans tore knee ligaments in the opening game of the tour.

"I went out there as a replacement, I wasn't picked originally and I didn't play in the first Test. I had to play a bit of catch up once I got out there.

"Craig Chalmers played in the first Test and, fair play to Australia, they played very well and we found ourselves 0-1 down in a three-Test series.

"To turn it around is one of highlights of my career. To go up to Brisbane and really get stuck into Australia - in what was a very physical Test - and to come back to Sydney at 1-1 was a real high.

"To then win 19-18 in the third Test of a Lions series when you've been 1-0 down - it doesn't get much better than that."


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