In 1974 one of the strongest British and Irish Lions’ squads
of all time departed for what would prove one of the most controversial - and
most historic - Rugby tours ever. Now the story behind the Lions’ tour of South Africa is
told by the men who made history, the legends revealing in their own words the
truth behind the Lions’ Roar of ‘74.
The apartheid regime in South Africa made the decision by
the Lions to tour controversial, condemned by politicians and activists. In
this extraordinary programme, squad members, including legendary Captain
Willie-John McBride, reveal their thoughts on the storm the Lions’ tour created,
and the marvellous Rugby they played.
There was further controversy on the pitch as violence
marred the matches and McBride’s infamous ‘99’ call brought the full force of
the Lions to bear on unruly opposition.
However, what the 1974 tour will always be remembered for is
the incredible performance of the British Lions, who demolished the Springboks
to take the team’s first Test win in South Africa since 1938 and then
the first series victory for almost 100 years. They left the southern
hemisphere unbeaten, denied a clean sweep only by a single controversial
decision in the dying moments of the fourth and final Test.
This film includes archive footage from each Test Match as
well as rare film from behind-the-scenes, but it is the interviews with
legendary names, including Gareth Edwards, J.P.R. Williams, J.J. Williams, Fran
Cotton, Phil Bennett and more which makes The Lions’ Roar of ‘74 such an important
DVD. You’ll discover how the squad coped with the controversy, pressure and
undoubtedly strong Springboks by creating an unparalleled team spirit which
would carry the Lions through adversity and on to victory.
There are also tributes from the Rugby
heroes the 1974 Lions inspired, including Jeremy Guscott, Ieuan Evans and Clive
Woodward, as well as defeated Springboks Captain Hanes Marais.
The Lions’ Roar of ’74 also includes footage from the Recall
of ‘99, when the squad was reunited to mark the 25th anniversary of
the historic tour, and visited Edinburgh, Dublin, Cardiff and London to celebrate.
You’ll hear the fascinating, and often hilarious, recollections of Lions such
as Mervyn Davies, Fergus Slattery, Mike Burton, Andy Ripley and 1974 coach Syd
A Pride of Lions – The Lions’ victorious trip to New Zealand in
1971 is celebrated in archive footage and the recollections of the players who
made the trip, reunited to commemorate another of Rubgy’s greatest stories.