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The British & Irish Lions


Geech vents over Lions schedule

19th April 2013 09:36


Sir Ian McGeechan close up

It's short-sighted - McGeechan

Sir Ian McGeechan has slammed the domestic schedule ahead of the 2013 Lions tour, saying it's "short-sighted and unfair" on boss Warren Gatland.

McGeechan, who led the British and Irish Lions four times, is unhappy that there is not enough of a break for top players to rest before departing.

He raised the same point following the 2009 tour and is disappointed that head coach Gatland has been left in a tougher position, with 2012/13's Aviva Premiership and RaboDirect PRO12 finals scheduled for May 25 before the squad meets the following day before flying out 24 hours later.

"It is short-sighted and unfair," McGeechan told several national newspapers. "They could have had a couple of midweek domestic matches during the season and finished a week earlier.

"It's extremely disappointing that they did not take up on that. They have to be big enough to do these things properly. The Lions is the biggest thing in a player's mind. It's the biggest rugby event too in the eyes of spectators.

"There will always be time constraints. But give Warren a week before departure. That would not be perfect but it would be fair.

"What we've done instead is build in unfairness. He faces an even bigger challenge in that regard than I did in 2009. Does he leave with one hand tied behind his back? Yes, I believe he does."