|Johannesburg, March 25 – Days after confirmation that the British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa will indeed take place as scheduled, SuperSport has lined up a wealth of Lions content to whet appetites for the visit later this year.
“Living with Lions”, the first in-depth rugby documentary of its kind, heads up the package, fitting given that it was filmed on the Lions’ all-conquering tour of SA in 1997.
It’s a raw and unvarnished look at life on tour and was made against the backdrop of the players and coaches initially being deeply wary of the project. To their credit, they tolerated the cameraman, whose recordings opened up a hidden, remarkable world.
The language is salty, the humour is ever-present, but what resonates is the effort and mind games that go into preparing a team for the series of their lives.
It makes for gripping television, as viewers can discover on Saturday when it is broadcast on SuperSport Rugby at 9.15pm.
A day later (Sunday, March 28), another insider film, chronicling the Lions’ tour of Australia in 2001, will be broadcast (SuperSport Rugby, 8pm). Different in scope and nature, chiefly because that series was lost, it nonetheless adds to the lore that surrounds rugby’s most famous touring troupe.
On March 29 (SuperSport Rugby, 8pm), “Inside the Lions Den” will take in the dramatic tour of New Zealand in 2005.
The theme continues four years hence – “Living with Pride” documents the heroics and drama of their last visit to SA, in 2009, when British and Irish hearts were crushed by the last-minute kick of the match.
This epic will be broadcast on March 30 (SuperSport Rugby, 8pm).
The Lions’ tour of Australia in 2013 gets the special treatment with “Lions Raw” (SuperSport Rugby, March 31, 8pm).
The series then concludes with “Lions Uncovered”, which takes in the apocalyptic showdown against New Zealand’s All Blacks in 2017 (SuperSport Rugby, April 1, 8pm).