BBC BLOGS - Bryn Palmer

Archives for May 2009

The best things come to those who wait

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Bryn Palmer | 07:16 UK time, Sunday, 24 May 2009

Irish rugby's annus mirabilis knows no bounds.

A first Grand Slam in 61 years, the Magners League champions in Munster, a world-record crowd for a club game at the Leinster-Munster Heineken Cup semi-final and the Lions captain among a record Ireland contingent in the original squad.

And now Leinster's first European crown, bringing further reward for half-a-dozen members of the "golden generation" who feared glory might have passed them by.

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Premium bonding top priority for Lions

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Bryn Palmer | 17:06 UK time, Sunday, 17 May 2009

"We were a group of people who spent their careers as international rugby players kicking the s*** out of each other and suddenly we had to develop a sense of complete togetherness. We had one week to achieve it because if we didn't get on that plane feeling part of the same team, we wouldn't have had a hope in South Africa."

Lawrence Dallaglio, assessing the successful 1997 Lions tour, neatly sums up the challenge facing the latest pride of Britain and Ireland's finest heading to Springbok country next week.

As the squad assemble at their pre-tour base at Pennyhill Park in Surrey on Monday, they too have precisely a week to forge that same unity of purpose before next Sunday's overnight flight from Heathrow to Johannesburg.

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