Total Rugby Radio show 250, from 10:00 UK time on Thursday 31 December ...
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All the best moments, features and interviews on Total Rugby from the middle four months in 2009, including the British & Irish Lions tour of South Africa!
LIONS IN SOUTH AFRICA
No doubt about the highlight of the rugby year on the field - it had been 12 years since the Lions last visited South Africa, when they won the Series, but with only one test win since, the 2009 trip was as much about rebuilding the Lions' image as winning. In the build-up we spoke with Ian McGeechan and his coaching ally in 1997, Jim Telfer.
We have commentary highlights from the three massive test matches as well as reaction from the likes of John Smit, Paul O'Connell, Ian McGeechan, Ugo Monye and Peter de Villiers.
GERALD DAVIES: PRIDE RESTORED
For the Lions, the overriding feeling was one of disappointment in defeat, but satisfaction too in the style and quality of the play - the esprit de corps within the squad best summed up for us by the team manager, Gerald Davies.
JOHN SMIT: CAPTAINCY MASTERCLASS
Victors against the Lions, the Springboks quickly set about putting their mark on the Tri Nations. During the victorious campaign, John Smit also reached a landmark when he became test rugby's most capped captain. We spoke with him.
SEVENS CHAMPS: SOUTH AFRICA
As the Springbok Sevens squad clinched its first ever IRB Sevens World Series, we heard from coach Paul Treu.
At this time in the year we also heard from Japan head coach and All Black great John Kirwan. Outspoken, shrewd and always interesting, Kirwan looked back on his very first, intriguing experiences in rugby.
IRB TOSHIBA JUNIOR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
With Japan in a four-way tussle to land the hosting rights to either the 2015 or 2019 Rugby World Cup, the country hosted the IRB Toshiba Junior World championship. We have highlights and reaction as New Zealand again came out on top in the World Junior stakes.
RUGBY WORLD CUP 2015 & 2019
In staging the tournament, Japan had also proved a major point - and a significant one - when the announcement for the World Cup venues was made on 2 July. We have reaction to Chairman Bernard Lapasset's announcement: " The IRB Council has decided that the host for the Rugby World Cup 2015 will be England, and the host for Rugby World Cup 2019 will be Japan!"