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Thursday, 6 September, 2001, 16:48 GMT 17:48 UK
Charvis: Healey made a scapegoat
BBC Sport Online columnist Colin Charvis
BBC Sport Online columnist Colin Charvis criticises the Lions management for punishing Austin Healey over his newspaper column.

The Lions management has decided to punish Austin Healey over some of the comments he made his in his newspaper column during the Lions tour.

They say he "embarrassed the tour party, the Lions and those who had travelled to Australia to support the tour" and "clearly brought the Lions into disrepute."

Well personally, I haven't been embarrassed by anything Austin said about what happened on tour.

I think it's just a case of the Lions management making an example of him in case something similar happens on future tours.

Matt Dawson was the first to be fined for a similar 'offence', so I think Austin's punishment is just the Lions management sticking to its policy.

But it's a month-and-a-half since the incident, so I think it would have been better for everyone if it was just forgotten and swept under the carpet.

To be honest, I don't think the Lions management realised how volatile a few of the characters on tour can be.

Justin Harrison and Healey share their opinions of each other
Healey and Harrison did not see eye-to-eye on the field

If people have got a bone to pick, they may try to subtly mention it in the press.

In hindsight, maybe Austin could have been a little more subtle, but I think the matter was done and dusted.

We lost the series - we're all feeling pretty bitter about that - but it's in the past now. Just leave it alone.

I was among many of the Lions who wrote columns and most of us were pretty streetwise in terms of the things we said.

We would proof-read the columns, or at least explain to the ghost writer what the message should be.

Hopefully, this incident won't put a stop to player columns. We don't want a complete media blackout.

That's not fair on people who are genuinely interested in the game.

I've had six weeks off since returning from Oz, and I'm paying the price for it now with a little too much bulge around the belly.

But I'm sure the Swansea fitness coach will soon get that out of me.

I'm making my first appearance on the bench this weekend against Glasgow and I'm looking forward to getting back into the thick of it.

Despite feeling a little frustrated and disillusioned after coming back from Australia, I'm eager to get my boots back on and trying to set the record straight for my own piece of mind.

Colin Charvis
Charvis spent most of the Lions tour on the sidelines
Swansea's start to the season has been a little rocky - I think the club itself will admit they haven't recruited well enough.

But we've just got get on with it and see what we can make of the season. The team should go from strength to strength now that the Lions and the injured players are back.

My only worry after experiencing such a hard summer tour is that such tours may soon become a thing of the past because they take too much out of the players.

If so much emphasis is put on the Six Nations and the European Cup, the players may feel they are playing too much and refuse to go on tour.

We've got a few Autumn internationals coming up with Wales, but I'm not sure what kind of part I'll have to play in them.

I haven't spoken with Graham Henry since leaving Australia.

Presumably he will experiment with some of the youngsters against Romania, but I would certainly like to be involved in a couple of the Tests.

My main priority is getting back to fitness, getting a regular starting place with Swansea and losing a bit of weight.

See also:

06 Sep 01 |  Rugby Union
Healey fined after inquiry
15 Jul 01 |  Lions Down Under
Henry wants Lions overhaul
15 Jul 01 |  Lions Down Under
Healey faces disciplinary action
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