It looked threatening, at least for a second. Jonny Wilkinson advanced with ball in hand looking determined to break through the Wallaby defence.
What happened next proved to be one of the biggest turning points in the last British & Irish Lions Tour to Australia in 2001.
Wilkinson didn’t see it coming, but his pass to the wing never made it to his fellow Lions.
The skilful intercept by the Wallabies’ Joe Roff to this day lives on as one of the greatest Rugby moments of all time.
Proven still as this week the former Australian winger has been voted by fans as the biggest hero of the 2001 British & Irish Lions Tour to Australia in the rugby.com.au poll.
Fans had the choice of several heroes from the last Lions Tour to Australia in 2001, including the Lions’ Jason Robinson, Jonny Wilkinson himself, the mighty Brian O’Driscoll and the Wallabies’ George Smith and Daniel Herbert.
But with 34% of fans’ votes, Joe Roff topped the poll as the biggest hero of the 2001 British & Irish Lions Tour to Australia twelve years ago.
Roff was known for his speed and power with the ball in hand which contributed to his outstanding form and devastating attacks as demonstrated by his renowned intercept during the second Test against the Lions in 2001. View the video here.
Coming in at a close second was none other than Australian Rugby’s stalwart, George Smith on 27% of votes. The current ACT Brumbies member is still showing the form that saw his dynamic rise through the Australian Rugby ranks twelve years ago. Check out George Smith’s highlights from the 2001 British & Irish Lions Tour here.
Following Smith was Ireland’s favourite, Brian O’Driscoll on 15%. A Test centurion for Ireland, O’Driscoll has made three Tours with the Lions, Captaining the series in New Zealand. Check out Brian O’Driscoll’s highlights from the 2001 British & Irish Lions Tour here.
The Lions’ blistering outside back, Jason Robinson was next in the poll with 11% of fans believing he was the biggest hero on the Lions Tour of Australia in 2001, followed by Jonny Wilkinson on 9% and the Wallabies’ centre, Daniel Herbert on 5%.
Twelve years later this year’s highly anticipated British & Irish Lions Tour to Australia is expected to deliver even bigger and better classic moments and heroes.
Don’t forget you can still vote in the rugby.com.au poll each week with this week’s poll asking, based on the #MyRugbyTV series, who was the biggest hero of the 1989 British & Irish Lions Tour to Australia? Lions’ Jeremy Guscott, Gavin Hastings or Paul Ackford, or the Wallabies’ David Campese, Nick Farr-Jones or Michael Lynagh?
Check out the entire Lions Heroes Series videos on #MyRugbyTV here and have your say now.