Rob Andrew on Lions Tour to NZ and England Cricket
Recently former England Fly Half Rob Andrew MBE opened a project for Wooden Spoon in Portslade Brighton. We took the opportunity to briefly ask his thoughts on the upcoming Lions Tour and Joe Root as the new England Cricket Captain.
Rob, who has been involved with a number of projects with the Wooden Spoon, was capped 71 times for England and 5 times for the British and Irish Lions. He tasted both victory and defeat as a Lion in 1989 and 1993 in Australia and New Zealand respectively.
Having finished his playing career at Newcastle Falcons Rob went on to a career in the administration side of the game and ended up as the RFU’s director of professional rugby.
A talented cricketer as well as rugby player, Rob gained a blue for Cambridge in both sports and played a few games for his home county of Yorkshire in the 2nd XI as well as Combined Universities.
Recently Rob was appointed the new CEO of Sussex County Cricket Club and is full of excitement for the upcoming season and looking forward to his next sporting challenge.
Robs thoughts on the upcoming Lions tour to New Zealand:
“It is a difficult selection to get the mix right, and on paper it will be a strong squad. A tour to New Zealand is always a big ask. Part of the Lions conundrum is not just selecting the player but selecting a group, does the group work? You have the challenges of mid week games and test selection, players being disappointed on the team they are selected for.”
“It is a very different environment to anything else you do as a rugby player, so the mix of the squad in ability as well as coming together as a tour party is very important. There is no doubt at all it will be a hugely talented Lions squad who land in New Zealand on day 1, the challenge though is turning that into a test winning team.”
“Another challenge of the Lions tour is fitness and tiredness after a long hard season. Lion’s tours aren’t made easy. It’s what you have to do if selected, to find a way of overcoming that and find a way of going into the tour as fresh as you can.”
“A Lions tour to New Zealand ranks up there as a player as one of the best things you will ever do in your rugby career. How you deal with that challenge can define you. I was lucky enough to have been on two Lions tours to both New Zealand and Australia and remember them well.”
With his other sporting cap on Rob passes us his thoughts on Joe Root and the England captaincy:
“I am really excited with this prospect, I think Alistair Cook has done a fantastic job and scored and amazing amount of runs and hopefully he goes on to get another 5000. He could become the leading test run scorer of all time and could catch Tendulkar.”
“That’s an incredible prospect and if he keeps getting the weight of the runs at the top of the order then Root can mould the team in the way he wants to and there are some exciting younger Cricketers around now in the likes of Root himself, Stokes and Woakes.”
“The game is different game now, it’s a risk taking game. The modern Cricketer is scoring runs at such a quick rate in the current way the game is played, unlike the days of Boycott who I moulded my game on!”
“England scored over 350 in three games of 50 overs against India, and still lost every game. That scoring rate is moving into the test arena and sometimes you need someone to stick around. You often think that if they haven’t scored for a few overs they get bored or frustrated and the modern players are so used to scoring off every ball that if they don’t they get disappointed. I recall Geoffrey Boycott being disappointed if he did score off every ball.”
Wooden Spoon wish Rob Good luck for the new season at Sussex and thank him for his support for the Children’s Charity of Rugby.