A decade later the Australian legend will return to the City as guest of honour at Swansea RFC'S 'White Christmas' event.
And the former Wallaby captain, who led his side to World Cup final glory at the Millennium Stadium in '99, has backed his 'old pal' John Connolly to turn the club's fortunes around.
'John was a huge influence on my career and I have a great deal to thank him for,' said the man who played 86 times for Australia, a record 55 of them as skipper.
'There are many good coaches, but John is exceptional. One of the things that sets him apart is his great sense of talent identification. He will see things other people will not see in players and has a great ability to get the best out of them.
'I am aware that everything has not been going too well for Swansea, but John is a renowned street fighter and he will look to the sort of people who will want to scrap with him to get the club going.'
One of the finest all-round forwards in the history of the game, the man nicknamed Nobody (as in Nobody's perfect), says Connolly will be patient during the rebuilding process and will not be put off by having to work with young and inexperienced players.
'He won't let defeats put him off either,' he said.
'Things do not change overnight in rugby. He will put up with some disappointments for a while so long as he is convinced he is making progress - and his record proves that he ultimately gets results.
'Back in 1987 John was in charge of the Brothers club in Sydney when it was given little hope in making any impact. They went on to do tremendously well in the cup, winning several matches on the trot all against more fancied opposition including one side which contained several Wallabies.'
Welsh sides draw Heineken Cup blank
'Victory on Saturday is vital' - Connolly
Heineken Cup results 2002/3