| 12°C Belfast

Close

Premium

'We've forgotten why we play': Willie John McBride on why rugby, and Lions tours, aren't the same in modern era

 

Close

Lions' pride: The Lions Legends XV ahead of the 2009 tour (from left) Mervyn Davies,Fran Cotton, Fergus Slattery, Keith Woods, Graham Price, Phil Bennett, Gerald Davies, Willie John McBride, Gareth Edwards, JJ Williams, Mike Gibson, JPR Williams, Richard Hill and Martin Johnson

Lions' pride: The Lions Legends XV ahead of the 2009 tour (from left) Mervyn Davies,Fran Cotton, Fergus Slattery, Keith Woods, Graham Price, Phil Bennett, Gerald Davies, Willie John McBride, Gareth Edwards, JJ Williams, Mike Gibson, JPR Williams, Richard Hill and Martin Johnson

�INPHO/Dan Sheridan/BLL

Lions' pride: The Lions Legends XV ahead of the 2009 tour (from left) Mervyn Davies,Fran Cotton, Fergus Slattery, Keith Woods, Graham Price, Phil Bennett, Gerald Davies, Willie John McBride, Gareth Edwards, JJ Williams, Mike Gibson, JPR Williams, Richard Hill and Martin Johnson

Given all his historic achievements on the rugby field, the experience that Willie John McBride describes as the most "outstanding and incredible" of his 80 years is one that would perhaps surprise people.

The most capped British and Irish Lion of all time, captain of their most fabled tour in 1974, a CBE as of last year and, as of tomorrow, an octogenarian, one of the most rewarding days afforded him by the sport of rugby was spent watching the migration of the wildebeest in Kenya.