Parties, pints and potholes - life is never dull when you’re following the Lions
I’m rooming with Peter Clohessy. It’s like living with a new-born baby
Controversially, Foley was picked ahead of me but his lack of fitness told early on in the game. His hamstring went on him when he was all alone on the wing, robbing him of his big chance to score a try against Australia. It wasn’t one of those where a guy feels a twinge and has to pull up. This was a sniper job, he went down immediately.
Swung a punch
So I got on the pitch in his place and I was a bit surprised at how physical the Aussies were and how seriously they took it. At one point, I came in the side-door to try to nudge Stephen Larkham out of the way and he didn’t take too kindly to it at all. He actually turned around and swung a punch at me, grazing the top of my head. Claw and Gaillimh were in fits laughing at me. It would have been something to come to Australia and get knocked out by an outhalf.
I suppose this is who were are now. We’re the old guys who attach ourselves onto these trips away, trying to pretend that we’re still young and fit. We hang about, trying to see can we get a free beer somewhere or other. We started off the trip joking about fans who we wanted to avoid. Sometimes you’re just trying to have quiet beer and a load of lads will start giving you abuse. We called those fans potholes – to be avoided.
But the longer the tour goes on, the more we come to realise that we are the potholes. If we run into anyone involved with the squad, we just sort of feel like we’re in the way. I was talking to Paul O’Connell the other day and afterwards I felt bad about all the questions I was bombarding him with. They’re out here to do a job, whereas we’re just following the party.
We are the ultimate potholes.