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Aussies fire up British Lions fans

British and Irish Lions coaching legend Jim Telfer has recreated his famous 1997 players pre-match gee-up meeting in an online video that provides a rallying cry for the men of Great Britain and Ireland to travel to Australia for the 2013 British and Irish Lions Tour.

The video is a tongue-in-cheek parody of the original ‘Mount Everest’ motivational speech, which has become a part of the rich Lions folklore.

The recreation sees Telfer preparing the men of Great Britain and Ireland for the battle that faces them in overcoming their greatest challenge – convincing their wives and girlfriends for permission to travel to Australia and follow the 2013 Tour.

“The British and Irish Lions Tour is the absolute pinnacle for players from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. There are no excuses to miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I’m urging every UK man to climb their Everest and support our team,” Telfer said.

While the video takes a light-hearted approach, The British and Irish Lions Tour is sure to be an incredible experience for players and fans alike and shouldn’t be missed, according to Jim Telfer, who represented The British and Irish Lions both as a player and a coach.

As well as giving rugby union fans the opportunity to be part of sporting history, the event is also a stimulus for Australian tourism, with 20,000 fans from the UK alone visiting Australia for the 2001 Tour. Organisers anticipate a similar level of support for 2013.

“British and Irish Lions fans are some of the most avid in the world, and we await the ‘Sea of Red’ to invade our shores later this year,” said Andrew McEvoy, Managing Director, Tourism Australia.

“With nine games, including three Test matches, played throughout Australia, this will be a great boost for tourism and a wonderful opportunity to showcase the best of our country to as many as 20,000 travelling fans.”

The British and Irish Lions will play nine matches during the six-week Tour of Australia (5 June – 6 July), including three Test matches against the Qantas Wallabies and games against all five Australian Super 15 Rugby teams.

“We have had a lot of fun making this video and hope rugby fans in the UK and Ireland will take it in the spirit it is meant, sharing it widely and encouraging as many of their male rugby friends to dig out their rugby jerseys and book their trip Down Under,” said Charlie McEwen, British and Irish Lions Director of Sales and Marketing.

“A Lions Tour is special and you can’t underestimate the impact the support of the fans has on a players’ performance. Nothing will encourage the team more than running out to a sea of red Lions supporters, and we urge you to follow Jim Telfer’s words of wisdom and come out to Australia with us.”

The three Test matches will occur in Brisbane (June 22), Melbourne (June 29) and Sydney (July 6), with the Tour also including matches in Perth, Canberra and Newcastle.

The project is a joint initiative between Tourism Australia and The British and Irish Lions.

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