Gerald Davies and Neil Jenkins Talk British Lions

Gerald Davies and Neil Jenkins Talk British Lions

Tuesday May 30, 2017

Rugby Event Photography for The Events Room

On Saturday 3rd June 2017, the British & Irish Lions play their first game on the tour of New Zealand.  As part of the build-up to the test series, The Events Room had organised a British Lions rugby dinner with Gerald Davies and Neil Jenkins at the Mercure Holland House Hotel in Cardiff.  I had the great pleasure of being the event photographer for the night and a selection of photos can be seen on the Sports Hospitality Event section on my website.

It is always a delight to work with Matt and Mark of The Events Room.  They have organised some great events which I have also had the opportunity to photograph, including an evening with Lions coach Warren Gatland and Wales defence coach Shaun Edwards, a rugby dinner with Jonathan Davies and Jeremy Guscott, and a Boxing evening with Michael Watson, Nigel Benn and Steve Collins.

Being a huge rugby fan, I couldn't wait to hear what Gerald Davies and Neil Jenkins had to say about the forthcoming tour.  Gerald Davies played 5 times for the Lions, scoring 9 points.  He also was the manager of the 2009 Lions tour to South Africa.

Neil Jenkins is a present member of the Wales and Lions coaching team.  He made 4 appearances for the Lions in 1997 and 2001, scoring 41 points.

Here were two men who knew all about Lions rugby.

Sean Holley was the compere for the evening and, with his great depth of rugby knowledge, asked very leading questions to allow the rugby legends to talk.  Both men talked about the magic of the British and Irish Lions, without understating the enormity of the challenge.  Bringing players together to face the best side in the world is not an easy task.  The preparation time is limited (some Lions squad players were playing on the 27th May with the first game on the 3rd June) and getting the squad to gel is vitally important.  However, as Jenkins and Davies spoke, there were memories of a bygone amateur era.  The camaraderie that comes of living in each other's pockets for six weeks, sharing each meal, bonding together as a unit.  Jenkins emphasised the importance of socialising together with a few drinks to break down any barriers that may exist.

There was also an air of confidence.  History tells us how difficult it is for the British Lions to win a test series.  However, this is believed to be one of the most talented squads ever to leave the shores of the UK.  Just look at the talented players that have been left behind.

Both rugby legends emphasised that playing for the Lions is the pinnacle of any rugby player's career.  Only being a member of a series winning side tops it.  I was fortunate to be in the stadium in Sydney when the British Lions won the final test and series against Australia in 2013 and I know how special that was.

Every British & Irish Lions tour faces challenges, but with a little good fortune this 2017 side may be able to repeat the series win of 1971.  And Gerald Davies knows how that feels.

Here are the Photos from The Events Room's Lions Dinner.


Paul Fears is an industrial and commercial photography based in South Wales.  For more information or to discuss a specific photography project, please contact Paul on:

Tel:  07909 103789 or 01443 207773


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