Telfer wins key job with Lions

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The Independent Online
Rugby Union

The new Lions assistant coach will be Jim Telfer, it was revealed at a press conference in Cardiff yesterday. He will be one of three people who will choose the final tour party to travel to South Africa next summer.

Telfer, who is also the director of rugby at the Scottish , will join the coach, Ian McGeechan, and tour manager, Fran Cotton, in selecting the tour party.

Telfer, who has put on hold his position as Scotland team manager for a year, won 25 caps for Scotland in the back row and twice toured with the Lions - to Australia and New Zealand in 1966 and to South Africa in 1968. He last worked with McGeechan when Scotland won the Grand Slam in 1990.

Although the Home Unions tours committee, who are responsible for planning Lions' tours, announced an advisory selection panel of four, it is clear that it will be Cotton, McGeechan and Telfer who have the final say.

"What we want is to be the best prepared Lions team ever to leave these shores," Cotton said yesterday. "Both Ian and Jim were our top choices for their positions and no other candidates were interviewed."

The two coaches will benefit from having three squad sessions during the season with the players from the national squads of the four home unions. The touring team will be announced at the end of March.

The England lock Martin Bayfield is facing a lengthy lay-off with a groin injury similar to the one which put Jeremy Guscott out of action for 14 months. The giant Northampton forward was injured last April but the trouble has just been diagnosed as a damaged pubic bone.

Jason John has accepted Moseley's offer of a one-year professional contract. The former Great Britain sprinter, who decided to switch sports after he was left out of the Atlanta Olympic squad, is expected to put pen to paper next week.

John will make his first domestic appearance for Moseley at South Wales Police in Saturday's opening game in the new Anglo-Welsh Second Division.

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