Tuesday 18 June 2019

'3-0 to New Zealand, you're gonna get smashed' - Roy Keane's blunt Lions conversation with Shane Horgan

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

In a Cardiff hotel before the British & Irish Lions were set to jet off to New Zealand, and before Manchester United were due to play Arsenal in the 2005 FA Cup final at the Millennium Stadium, Roy Keane ran into Ireland winger Shane Horgan and England number eight Lawrence Dallaglio.

The Lions and Manchester United were sharing the same hotel in the Welsh capital when some members of the Lions squad fell in with their United counterparts.

Keane, who was captain of Manchester United at the time, struck up a conversation with Horgan and Dallaglio at the hotel, and before too long put the pair's upcoming tour of New Zealand into a brutally honest perspective.

"Before we left for New Zealand, we were staying in the same hotel in Wales as the Manchester United team, who were there for the FA Cup final against Arsenal," Horgan told The Sunday Times.

"We fell in with some of the players, and asked Roy Keane what he thought our chances were..."

Lawrence Dallaglio: "'3-0 to New Zealand, you're gonna get smashed.' Part of me knew what he was saying was true but it's one thing thinking it, it's another to be so blunt in saying it."

"There's a social convention where you tone down that kind of thing but he was in full Roy mode. It wasn't very inspiring.

"That said, and maybe it was different for me because it was my first Lions tour, I was incredibly optimistic. It never really dawned on me that the tour might be a disaster until we lost the second Test because until then you're still thinking: "We're in this, we can do it."

The Lions would ultimately go on to lose the series 3-0 in a forgettable whitewash where the tourists were outscored 107-40 across all three Tests.

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