2013 British & Irish Lions
McGeechan rules out official Lions role
ESPN Staff
October 16, 2012
British & Irish Lions head coach Ian McGeechan salutes the crowd during a lap of honour after the match, South Africa v British & Irish Lions, third Test, Ellis Park, Johannesburg, July 4, 2009
Sir Ian McGeechan will be in Australia as a supporter next summer © Getty Images

Sir Ian McGeechan has ruled out any official role with the 2013 British & Irish Lions but will be on hand to offer advice if coach Warren Gatland requires it.

McGeechan, who has served as the Lions' head coach on four previous tours - in 1989, 1993, 1997 - and took charge of the midweek side in 2005, is widely regarded as being synonymous with the historic touring side. The 65-year-old also knows better than most what it takes to come away from the southern hemisphere with a series win having guided the Lions to victory in Australia 1989 and South Africa in 1997.

That latter triumph over the Springboks was the last time the Lions returned home with a series victory and despite his continued passion for the side, McGeechan will not take on an official role in 2013. But Gatland may still call on McGeechan's advice having acted as forwards coach for the tour back in 2009.

"I'll be there for advice and support and I'll be over there but watching," McGeechan told Sky Sports News. "I was happy at the end of 2009 that as a head coach, that was it. Inside, I felt unfinished business after 2005 so it was great to have that opportunity to be involved in 2009.

"But come the end of that tour and finishing with the way we won in Jo'burg that was fine for me. I was comfortable to see that as my last role as a head coach."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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