“You want everyone to buy into the values of the organisation. It was crucial that the choices I was making were supported by all the relevant people”
Work in training and how to generate funding for the tour. ”Next, he headed to Hong Kong and Australia in June 2011 - two years ahead of the tour - to do a detailed ‘recce’ of potential hotels and training venues, visiting more than 60 hotels over a five-week period,as well as the grounds for all the matches. At the same time, he was mapping out how a group of 85 people with up to 20 tons of freight would move around the country. “My role was to take responsibility for planning and preparation for the tour, so anything that affected the team was part of my remit,” he explains. “I was in place well before the head coach, Warren Gatland, was appointed, so it was important to have different options set out for every decision hemight make. For instance, when we discussed where the squad should stay in Sydney I was able to present him with three suitable hotels. “We were working to put all the building blocks in place well in advance - toget the foundations rock-solid,” he says.“We must have been doing something right because, as the tour came closer, I got messages from my Australian counterpart saying we had booked the hotel or training ground they had wanted to use. ”DRIVING FORWARD Richardson's job is to empower those around him to make the right decisions. As he puts it, “I’m accountable for everything, but where possible I delegate responsibility. ”With the Lions, that can mean managing upwards as well as downwards, to his CEO, John Feehan, Gatland and the four individual playing unions.