In 2001, Martin Johnson made history when he became the first man to captain the British and Irish Lions twice.
It was a huge honour, but one he considered turning down.
Johnson first led the Lions on their victorious tour of South Africa aged 27 in 1997 and says that accolade carried plenty of nerves too.
"I remember turning up thinking 'what's everyone going to think?'" he told two-time Lions captain Sam Warburton on his BBC Radio 5 Live Lions Legends podcast.
- Listen: Warburton's Lions Legends - Martin Johnson
"'How am I the Lions captain?' I didn't have a clue how to be a Lions captain."
Despite having more leadership experience by the time of the Australia tour four years later, Johnson was reluctant to take on the captaincy.
The World Cup-winning England captain said he was "physically and mentally exhausted" before the tour began in June, having played his first club game of the season in August 2000.
"I wasn't that surprised to get the call because England were head and shoulders above the other home nations," he recalled.
"I considered not doing it. You have that thing of 'you can't say no, I'll get through this'.
"It was a tough tour. With everything that had gone on that year, I was knackered."
Team 'bond' crucial for Lions victory
In the end, Johnson did accept the captaincy and sealed his place in Lions folklore - but says the 2001 tour left him with "captain's regret".
After the highs of 1997's win, the Lions beat Australia 29-13 in the opening Test before losing the second Test and eventually the series in a tight decider in Sydney.
His experiences across both tours can perhaps provide some lessons for the current crop of Lions as they prepare to face South Africa in Saturday's first Test.
"If I could be anywhere in my international career, it would be that 1997 Lions tour," Johnson said.
"It is a great place to play, South Africa. It will test you physically. It is a very up front test, it is not an underhand test.
"There are two countries who can come out with an emotional level that you can't reach and they are the French and the South Africans."
Such emotion is usually best confronted with a powerful team bond and it is the lack of togetherness that Johnson regrets about the 2001 tour.
"We should have done things differently," he said.
"We had far more about us to win in 2001 than we did in 1997 but we ended up losing it because we weren't as together as a group.
"It was really tough mentally. It's got to be something more than 'I want to win a game of rugby for the Lions'. You've got to have a bond."
Everest speech was 'a belter'
The 1997 tour of South Africa was immortalised in the documentary 'Living With Lions' - and assistant coach Jim Telfer's speech before the first Test, comparing the forwards' challenge with climbing Mount Everest, has become iconic.
Telfer showed Johnson and the rest of the group things that had been written about the side's weakness in the scrum and the former captain remembers the speech as "a belter".
"People think that happens all the time, but it's a three or four [in a] career sort of thing," he said.
"You have to base anything in reality. You can't come in and say any old rubbish, even if it sounds poetic.
"You are facing reality right in the face, there is no getting away from it. They're going to come and try to do you.
"I remember when Jim said those things, it was not 'you guys are great'. He was actually putting pressure on you, but he was right."
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