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Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 July 2005, 09:52 GMT 10:52 UK
Campbell defiant over Lions role
Alastair Campbell
Lions media consultant Alastair Campbell has denied he had a negative influence on the tour of New Zealand.

The tourists lost the Test series 3-0 and Campbell was blamed for the way the Lions handled the incident in which skipper Brian O'Driscoll was injured.

All Blacks captain Tana Umaga was heavily criticised for his tackle on O'Driscoll early in the first Test.

"If we had been winning there would not have been the focus on me and the Umaga affair," Campbell told BBC Five Live.

The New Zealand media turned on us and the British media joined in
Alastair Campbell

"Once the Test series started the British media started to kick in a fairly aggressive way, and not just against me.

"But [Lions head coach] Clive Woodward said there was nothing different he would have done had I not been there.

"It was down to Clive, the squad's lawyer and Brian O'Driscoll, who had pretty strong feelings about the whole thing, to make sure the case we were trying to make about [the Umaga affair] was properly heard.

"The New Zealand media turned on us because they thought we were attacking a national hero and the British media joined in."


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