LAWRENCE DALLAGLIO billed the Lions as the SAS of rugby.
And the 1997 hero backed has Warren Gatland’s troops to storm fortress Cape Town on Saturday and capture a 2-0 series win against world champions South Africa.
England’s 2003 World Cup hero was on the winning side here 24 years ago and Dallaglio ranks that achievement under Sir Ian McGeechan and trusted lieutenant Jim Telfer as his Everest.
The rugby legend, 48, told SunSport: “The Lions are the Special Forces of rugby — it is unique.
“There is a lot of people who try, but not everyone gets in.
“It is a very select group, but it is not good enough being a Lion, you want to be a winning one.
“There is now an enormous Springbok hurdle to overcome and to go away and beat them in enemy territory is probably the hardest challenge in rugby.
“The way Jim Telfer described it — there is one thing being a Lion, but there is another thing being a winning Lion.
“It is up to the players to go and write the next chapter in Lions history.
“The nine weeks I had there in 1997 was the greatest rugby experience of my life. It was the pinnacle of my career.”
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Maro Itoje and the Lions have been studying rugby history all this week to inspire them to greatness.
And No 8 Dallaglio also bashed the books before bashing the Boks here as they won their series 2-1.
The Wasps hero said: “I was inspired by the feats of the guys that had gone before me.
“From the great Mervyn Davies to Tony Neary to Mike Teague. When I got picked, I wrote down the names of all the players that had played in my position in the last ten tours before me.
“Then I wrote my own name at the bottom and I thought ‘I’ve got it all to do’. That’s the challenge.”
Gatland’s first tour here as an assistant in 2009 saw them lose the first two games and the series.
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Dallaglio, a Land Rover ambassador, added: “There is that unfinished business with South Africa.
“The Lions should have won that series in 2009.
“This feels like there is unfinished business for Warren personally and the Lions themselves.”
Lawrence Dallaglio was speaking on behalf of Land Rover. Join Land Rover’s Lions Adventure on Twitter @LandRoverRugby #LionsAdventure