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Lions mastermind Carwyn James was a rugby visionary beyond compare | Richard Williams

The Lions’ only previous series triumph in New Zealand in 1972 was entirely due to coach Carwyn James

One warm evening in the summer of 1971 I got home from work with a copy of the London evening paper in my hand. Look, I told my girlfriend, it says here that the Lions are arriving at Heathrow tonight. Let’s go. So we climbed into the car and drove out on the M4 to the airport. We were not alone. The arrivals hall was already packed – but with people who had arrived from the opposite direction, which meant from Wales.

The singing had already begun. Cwm Rhondda, of course, and much else, while we waited. By the time the heroes had passed through the baggage hall and passport checks and started to emerge, people were standing on chairs and tables, creating an impromptu arena.

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