SJA Lions Lunch with Graham Price: June 13

Get the low-down on the Lions rugby tour from record-breaking Wales prop forward GRAHAM PRICE at our next SJA Sporting Lunch, in central London on Thursday June 13.

Up for a ruck: possibly the most famous front row in rugby history, Graham Price, left, with his club, country and Lions team mates Bobby Windsor and Terry Faulkner, on tour in 1977
Up for a ruck: possibly the most famous front row in rugby history, Graham Price, left, with his club, country and Lions team mates Bobby Windsor and Charlie Faulkner, on tour in 1977

The SJA’s events always deliver headline-making stories, and the former Pontypool front-row is expected to deliver some real insights into the Wales-dominated British and Irish Lions squad before the Test series begins Down Under when he scrums down to lunch with us at the Olde Cock Tavern on Fleet Street.

The lunch is open to all working media, non-members as well as members.

There is a strict limit on the number we can accommodate, and priority is always given to SJA members and those first to book.

Attendance at this lunch costs £15 (including VAT) for SJA members (associate and full members). For non-members, the price is £22 (including VAT).

The event will begin at 12.30pm with a two-course pub lunch, after which Graham Price will talk about Lions tours past and present, and take questions from the floor on an on-the-record basis (unless he specifically asks to go off-the-record on any point, in which case we expect that request to be honoured).

The 12 successive Test matches – four internationals in 1977, 1980 and 1983 – that Graham Price played for the Lions make him the tourists’ most-capped front row forward. It is a record unlikely ever to be matched, let alone bettered.

Price made his Wales debut in 1975 as part of an all-Pontypool front row alongside Bobby Windsor and Charlie Faulkner. The trio became so notorious, they even had a song written about them (albeit by Max Boyce… ). In 1977, the “Viet Gwent” monopolised the Lions front row positions in three tour matches, as Price confirmed his status as a world-class performer in a Test pack that was arguably the strongest the game had seen.

Graham Price: scrum, and record-, breaker
Graham Price: scrum-master and record-breaker

A civil engineer by profession, Price was famed for grinding down opponent after opponent, withstanding everything the opposition could throw at him.

Three years later he was a Lion again, this time testing himself against the best South African forward play could offer. Once again, over another four Tests, he proved himself a master of the tighthead’s art.

On that 1980 tour , Price also proved he had expanded his range of skills to become a useful performer with the ball in hand, although the try he scored in the first Test was a more traditional forward effort as his pack drove him over after a turnover of possession in the lineout.

In 1983 , Price made his final Lions tour, at age 31, and although the Lions suffered a 4-0 Test series defeat on his return to New Zealand, he again earned the respect of his opponents and the country’s rugby public.

When he retired from international rugby after that series, his appearance totals emphasised the impact he had made on the game: 41 caps for Wales and 12 Tests for the Lions were both records for a prop.

This SJA lunch represents an outstanding opportunity for feature writers, chief sports writers and correspondents from regional as well as national newspapers and broadcasters for some headline-grabbing copy.

Payment should be made by cheque (payable to “SJA”). Anyone requiring a VAT invoice needs to advise us, and they will be sent such by the Treasurer.

Rights-free images from the event will be made available on request.

All attendees are also expected to make their best efforts to ensure that they make mention the Sports Journalists’ Association in their published or broadcast reports.

The SJA lunch will take place in a private upstairs room at The Olde Cock Tavern, Fleet Street, EC4Y 1AA, directly opposite the Royal Courts of Justice. The venue is served by several rail and Tube stations, include Charing Cross, Embankment, Temple and City Thameslink.

Lunch will start from 12.30pm.

Places are expected to be in great demand and will be allocated on a first-come, first-reserved basis, with preference given to SJA members.

The cost is £15 (including VAT) for fully paid-up SJA members (full and associate), and £20 (including VAT) for non-members, to include a two-course meal and coffee. Guests are expected to buy their own drinks.

  • Contact Mary Fitzhenry by email to (please indicate if you have other special dietary requirements; these have to be ordered in advance), and write “Graham Price lunch” in the subject field of your email.
  • Payment, with cheques payable to the SJA, may be made on the day, or can be sent to the Treasurer, Sarah Juggins, 7 Auckland Road, Cambridge, CB5 8DW.
  • Payment may be expected from anyone who books a place but does not attend.

All details are subject to change.

First posted May 31.


Wed June 26: SJA Sea Angling Day: Being held somewhere in the North Sea. For more information and booking details, click here

Thu July 4: SJA/Laureus brunch with Michael Vaughan. Click here for booking details

Mon Sep 9: SJA Autumn Golf Day, including the Phil Sheldon Trophy, at Muswell Hill Golf Club. Details to be announced shortly

Thu Dec 12: SJA 2013 British Sports Awards. Venue and ticket booking details to be announced soon