Jonathan Davies admitted he was “chuffed to bits” to be named the British and Irish Lions players’ player of the tour for 2017.
The Wales centre excelled once again as the Lions ground out a 15-15 draw in Saturday’s third and final Test against New Zealand.
A try-saving tackle, two thunderous hits on full-back Jordie Barrett and a clutch of threatening half-breaks punctuated just the latest stellar turn from the Scarlets’ slingshot centre.
The Lions wound up drawing only their second-ever series, avoiding a series loss in New Zealand for the first time since 1971, and Davies admitted he had loved every second of the tour.
“I’m very humbled and chuffed to bits to get an award which is voted for by your peers,” said Davies, of his award.
“But when you look back it’s been a team effort with 40 odd players and we dug in. We achieved something very special and I’m chuffed.”
Jordie Barrett is crunched by Jonathan Davies in the third Test Match. David Rogers/Getty Images
While Davies admitted the drawn third Test and shared spoils across the series left a circumspect mood on Saturday night, the Wales star insisted in time the Lions will come to appreciate the enormity of their achievement.
“It was a cracking Test match again for the spectator; it was a very intense start in the first 20 minutes, they came hard at us out of the blocks and I think it was credit to us for fighting back and grinding it out,” said Davies.
“After the first 20 minutes I felt the worst I’ve ever felt to be honest with you. It was a great comeback to grind out a draw in the end.
“It could have gone either way at the end. Some people might say it was a fair result and we’re disappointed we didn’t get a win at the end of the day, but I’m proud of what we achieved.
“We’ve been put together quite quickly and we’ve come down to the best nation in the world and played well. I’d like to think we have done ourselves proud.
“It’s been a great tour. As a group we’ve bonded really well and we’ve enjoyed each other’s company.
“I think we’ll look back at this in years to come and say we were quite proud to have been part of something so special.
“I’ve been really happy and I’ve enjoyed my rugby. I’ve played with a smile on my face and it’s just great to be part of such a special group of players.”
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Davies awarded Lions player of series
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