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Lion Man: The Autobiography Paperback – 5 Aug 2010
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About the Author
Ian McGeechan began his career as a player -- winning more than thirty caps for Scotland and twice touring with the Lions. As coach to the Scottish national team, he led his country to a famous Grand Slam victory in the 1990 Five Nations tournament and has been appointed head coach to the Lions on four separate occasions, most recently for the 2009 tour to South Africa. And as coach of Wasps, McGeechan has guided the team to dominance in the club game.
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To most people, the author is the passionate rugby coach seen on the various Lions videos who has the knowledge and experience to get the best from his players. In his own words you get to see how he develops his coaching techniques and theories over the years. He writes with a very good style that is as accessable as his speeches.
His triumph is his ability to describe tense matches in a thrilling way, especially his account of the Lions tour of 1997 and more recently 2009. I was at the 2009 2nd test and it was a pleasure to read what he was thinking during and after that game. He pulls no punches regarding his comments on the 2005 Tour, and all I can say is that a certain spin doctor at the time is shown up for what he is. He is also firm in his conviction about what a Lions Tour is all about, the bond, the tradition, the teamwork. He always strives to get this right and has it as a precondition of the Tour.
The book is honest on his personal life too, and his comments about how Rugby has affected his family and his finances in the past are similar to what other 'old timers' from the amateur era have said. Needless to say, he owes Rugby nothing and if, as he claims, never coaches the Lions again, well this book is a fitting account of all his achievements, about which he is quick to share the glory.
Organised Chaos - I will always remember this!
This book isn't. It's mostly a series of unrevealing (though often interesting) mini travelogues through time. There is little revelation or thought provoking prose about playing for your country,the lions or indeed masterminding the greatest recent lions victories as coach.
If you love your rugby and want to read about the top line actions and feelings of around these momentousoccassions then this is a decent enough read. For me it lacks real insight, detail or indeed passion. Worthy but not up to the story that needs to be told.
The Ronan O'Gara of the rugby biography.
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