British & Irish Lions attack coach Gregor Townsend says he analysed England’s World Cup final loss to the Springboks before the final squad-selection meeting.
In an exclusive interview with the Telegraph, Townsend opened up about being appointed as the Lions’ attack coach and the thinking behind the 37 players selected for the squad for the upcoming tour of South Africa.
The Scotland head coach said that 30 minutes before the final Lions selection meeting, he decided to review the 2019 World Cup final, when the Springboks claimed a 32-12 win over Eddie Jones’ England.
‘We met at 1:30pm and in the half hour before I remember I watched back clips of the World Cup final to review one player again,’ Townsend told the Telegraph. ‘It was then that I finally thought, “Right, that is the last game, now we are into the selection meeting”.
‘It was also the first I had turned to when Warren first offered me the [Lions] coaching role. It was obviously the last game the Springboks played but there was a dual role there. We were playing England in the first game of the Six Nations, so I was half looking for any more traits from England, even though it was over a year ago.
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‘But also to look at South Africa – their defence, what they did well that day,’ Townsend added. ‘And what England did well. It is probably forgotten after the result that there were a lot of things that they did do well in that first half.’
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