Graham Rowntree has unfinished business ahead of the 2013 Lions tour of Australia
Last Updated: 12/12/12 12:33pm
Graham Rowntree: Wants to vanquish nightmares of South Africa in 2009
Revenge is on Graham Rowntree's mind after he was confirmed as one of Warren Gatland's Lions assistant coaches.
Rowntree was part of Ian McGeechan's set-up in South Africa in 2009 and still has nightmares about the way in which the series was lost, the Springboks snatching the second Test in the dying moments and meaning the Lions final Test success counted for little more than pride.
"It's the first time I'd seen grown men cry in the changing room after the game. It was a massive roller coaster and there's definitely unfinished business."
They have not won a series since Rowntree's last as a player in 1997 but he feels the squad will be driven to end that run against a team that beat Rowntree's England side during the autumn international series.
"Unfinished business? There's an understatement from 2009," said Rowntree.
Rowntree joins Lions set up
"That second Test, the emotions of that game will live with me forever. We did a job in terms of the first half as a forward pack and then we lost Gethin Jenkins and Adam Jones and that changed everything.
"It was going to be a famous victory. We were winning until the last few minutes in Pretoria and we had it taken away from us.
"It's the first time I'd seen grown men cry in the changing room after the game. It was a massive roller coaster and there's definitely unfinished business.
"We're due a series win aren't we? Where we are now, with the players we can pick, and the continuity that we're able to bring in terms of the coaching plus the injection of people like Faz (Andy Farrell) with that passion and energy, I think now is the time. Now is the time to win a Test series.
"Just talking about it all now is making the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.
"I was thoroughly delighted to get the call from Gats and I'm really looking forward to it. It's a special time a Lions tour and it's a special country we're visiting as well. And having just faced Australia in the autumn series, we all owe them one."
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