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THE SCOTTISH trio of Jim Telfer, Sir Ian McGeechan and Andy Irvine have taken part in an incredible 13 British and Irish Lions tours between them as players, coaches and administrators. In short, they have missed just two tours since Telfer first wore the Lions jersey and captained the famous team in 1966.

The trio remain passionate about the opportunities afforded by sport in Scotland and the work of the Observatory for Sport in Scotland, and will take centre stage on Tuesday 20 July (7pm-8.30pm) via Zoom, in the next OSS ‘In Conversation With’ event in the lead-up to the 2021 Lions Test Series in South Africa.

McGeechan and Irvine tasted success with the unbeaten Lions of 1974, in South Africa, and experienced bitter defeats, while Telfer lost the captaincy for speaking out in New Zealand, considered quitting coaching altogether after the 1983 whitewash and, after being persuaded to return, helped ‘Geech’ steer the Lions to their last Test series win, in South Africa, in 1989. Either McGeechan or Irvine have been part of the last four series and so have a good handle on the differing challenges now, and how Warren Gatland’s squad will fare seeking to emulate the squad of ’89.

“I am delighted to support the OSS and anything that we can do to encourage more people to get involved in sport in Scotland,” said Sir Ian, “and I’m looking forward to sharing our stories with the OSS audience. Myself, Jim and Andy have enjoyed the highs and lows of touring with the Lions, and I am really looking forward to seeing how the squad get on back in South Africa, with Gregor now one of the coaches and a good crop of talented Scottish players. By the time of the OSS event I hope we’ll be talking of a few Scots playing in the first Test.”

All three Lions will also select their starting XV for the first Test in Cape Town and explain why on the night. Will you agree?

The event is free but open exclusively to OSS Supporters. Existing supporters can sign up for the event, and receive login details, by emailing: To become an OSS Supporter, from as little as £10, visit here – and then email us for event login details at:

Our recent event with Dick Pound, former Vice-President of the International Olympic Committee, proved so popular he will return after the Olympics for another, and we also have Ryder Cup and Ashes cricket events lined up for later in the year.

Lions 'In Conversation with...'