There are a few routes to becoming a Lion.
Firstly, there’s the most arduous: proving yourself over four years as being worthy of a spot in the squad.
Secondly, you could be a bolter: someone who comes out of nowhere to claim a place.
Thirdly, there’s luck: being in the right place at the right time. Of course, it’s possible to contrive that luck. A player could ensure they’re going to be in the right place at the right time.
With the squad in New Zealand, it’s the perfect time for wannabe Lions to holiday in the Antipodes.
Improve you chances further by making it known you’re in the area. You need to be extremely active on social media. Post to Instagram and Twitter several times per day. If you’ve got friends in the squad, make sure they’re retweeting.
Maybe even get yourself a ticket for the first Test or do a spot of media work. Scott Quinnell must think himself unlucky not to be in the squad already.
Ensure you’re even more attractive to Warren Gatland by portraying yourself as physically fit and active in your social media come-and-get-me pleas.
Just because you’ve got an ulterior motive for being in the southern hemisphere doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy yourself. We’ve got four destinations which mix the best of both worlds: proximity to the tour and activities to keep you occupied while you wait for the call-up.
June is the perfect time to visit Queenstown as you await a call from Gatty. The ski slopes are just opening and so are not going to be overly crowded. There’s also the Queenstown Winter Festival to while away your time.
Get that protein hit during your visit to the south island with a visit to Brian O’Driscoll favourite Fergburger.
Handily, Queenstown is just a 90 minute flight away from Wellington where, coincidentally, the Lions play their final mid-week game against a Super Rugby side.
Located conveniently between Auckland, where the Lions play New Zealand in the first test this weekend, and Wellington, where they play the second test and a midweek game against the Hurricanes, Whakapapa is an ideal base for the wannabe Lion.
Impress Warren with your local knowledge, should you get that call, by pronouncing your location correctly - it’s ‘fakapapa’.
You can also hit the slopes on New Zealand’s only skiable volcano, Mount Ruapehu, while you wait for Gatland to dial your digits.
Should that call not arrive, you can drown you sorrows with a little bit of après-ski just down the road in Ohakune.
Bay of Islands
Skiing not your thing? Then why not check out the Bay of Islands.
At this time of year, it’s going to be a lovely 16 degrees, not that much different from back home.
An area full of natural beauty and history, you can give yourself some added value by immersing yourself in the local Maori culture. Make sure to mention this to Warren during your call.
Handily, it’s just a three-hour drive to Auckland.
Worried that Warren might figure out your ruse? Then why not base yourself in another country.
It might be peak season in Fiji right now but you’ve got to ask yourself, ‘Do I want this Lions call-up or not?’
There’s also the upside of you being able to enjoy the sun in Suva while your future teammates endure the New Zealand winter.
Luckily for you and Gatty the flight time to Auckland is a mere three hours.
Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile