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The warning from 2001 that the 2021 Lions must heed

By PA

Trending on RugbyPass

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Jason Robinson has urged the British and Irish Lions to claim the “Holy Grail” that eluded him when they face South Africa in Saturday’s second Test.

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The Lions are one victory away from taking an unassailable lead in the three-match series after staging a determined fightback from 12-3 down to topple the world champions 22-17 at Cape Town Stadium.

Former England captain Robinson was a key component of the 2001 squad that fell to a 2-1 series defeat to Australia despite strolling to victory in the first encounter at the Gabba in Brisbane.

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“This is an opportunity for these Lions to create history,” Robinson, who is a Land Rover ambassador, told the PA news agency.

“I’ve been there – we won the first Test but lost the second two. Winning the first game doesn’t guarantee you winning the series.

“Winning a Lions Test is amazing, but one thing I never achieved as a player was winning a Lions Test series.

“That’s the Holy Grail and what they’ll be looking for now. They’ll certainly believe they’ve got the players and the confidence to do so.

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“It was a historic win against South Africa because now they go into that second Test with a lot more confidence and knowing it’s there for the taking.

“That’s a massive boost for the Lions because they’ll know what they can do with the ball in hand and that they can put pressure on South Africa.

“We know South Africa are a world class team and remember what they did to England in the 2019 World Cup final, but if the Lions didn’t have the belief they needed going into the first Test, they’ll have it for the second one.

“Sometimes you’ve got to fight fire with fire. Everyone talks about how physical South Africa are, but if you match them it puts you in a great place.”

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Robinson, who also played on the 2005 tour to New Zealand, faced the Springboks on seven occasions for England and knows that Warren Gatland’s men will face a backlash.

“I have an idea of what’s coming in this next Test. South Africa will bring physicality and intensity,” Robinson said.

“They’ll know they only played for 40 minutes, as did the Lions, and that’s why it was such a close contest. South Africa will know they don’t have a cushion against the Lions, so they have to really take it to the Lions.

“Either team will know that on their day they can win this next Test and that’s what makes it interesting.”

* Join Land Rover’s Lions’ Adventure this summer at www.lionsadventure.com and follow @LandRoverRugby #LandRoverRugby

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The warning from 2001 that the 2021 Lions must heed

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