Rugby

Austin Healey Tells Of How He Pranked Will Greenwood About 97 Lions Selection

Austin Healey Tells Of How He Pranked Will Greenwood About 97 Lions Selection

Both Austin Healey and Will Greenwood were selected for victorious 1997 Lions tour of South Africa.

For a brief while, Greenwood believed that he had been omitted from the squad. That was due to a prank played by his housemate and Leicester Tigers teammate, Austin Healey.

On BT Sport's Rugby Tonight, Healey relayed how he pranked Greenwood 20 years ago.

We got letters in '97 and I was living with Will Greenwood at the time. We got told, I think on April 5th, that the letter would be delivered if you were in the squad.

Being a light sleep, I heard the postman and I ran down. I saw both letters. Craig Joiner was living with us at the time and he was close to getting into the squad as well.

I picked up Will's letter and put it inside my dressing gown and started cheering that I'd got my letter.

He came down into the kitchen all sad faced and I said, 'Have you not got one?' He said, 'No I've not got one.'

I said, 'Mate, you should have got on that tour. You deserve to be on that tour.' I said, 'Can you take me to the training ground because I want to have a few beers to celebrate.'

There was a big press announcement there because Martin Johnson is the captain, it says it here on the letter. Sure enough, he drove me in his Mini Metro.

As we pulled in, one of the TV cameras came to the window - he was the only uncapped player in the squad - and said, 'Well done Will, well done.' As we pulled off I said, 'Mate, are they taking the mick out of you or what?'

Then he got out of the car and as he got I out, I opened his letter and said he had been selected.

Tongue firmly in cheek, Healey said that Greenwood took the prank 'really well'.

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Healey would make two test appearances on that tour, coming off the bench in the second and third games against South Africa.

Greenwood's tour was cut short by injury, it would be another eight years before he made a test appearance for the Lions.

See Also: Donncha O'Callaghan Wonderfully Explains Reasons For His Rugby Longevity

PJ Browne
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