Lions schedule is essential preparation, says former coach McGeechan

Lions schedule is essential preparation, says former coach McGeechan

Lions schedule is essential preparation, says former coach McGeechan

Steve Hansen says that the All Blacks would never agree to the schedule that the British & Irish Lions have taken on for their tour to New Zealand.

The first outing of the 10-match tour is in eight days, against the Provincial Barbarians in Whangarei.

The Lions survived an onslaught in the first test in Dunedin before snatching a 9-3 win with a charge-down try.

"You have to wear the number on your back and then you're a Lion".

"I don't think they are arrogant, I think they are well informed and have high expectations of us". You'll go down as the Gods of the game if you beat those guys. "The more you play against the best team, the more you learn where you need to improve, and they are the best team in the world".

"I am backing the All Blacks to do the job", Thrush said.

The Lions certainly have attacking threats: "the Scarlets played like a Super Rugby side against Munster in the Pro 12 final and the Premiership final between Exeter and Wasps was entertaining".

Colin Meads, who said his new captaincy responsibilities reluctantly prevented him dishing out the "enforcement" he was famed for, said in the book that the retirement of a host of players following a bruising series defeat in South Africa in 1970 had left New Zealand more vulnerable than they realised against an opponent they had clearly under-estimated.

An area of the game where the Lions believe they have the edge over the All Blacks is with their goal kicking. "It will be down to results in the end". If replacements are required, though, it will help geographically and logistically that Wales are on tour in New Zealand and Samoa next month while Scotland are in Australia, so reinforcements would not be too far away.

That familiarity will no doubt aid the former All Blacks hooker in gelling 41 players from four different countries with little preparation time. New Zealand sides do not often come up against teams who play like that.

Unlikely. They have only done it once before in New Zealand - and that was 46 years ago - while two of the three Tests are at Eden Park, Auckland, where the All Blacks have not lost since France toppled them in 1994.

"The challenge is going to be huge in the Test series and there will be no greater one in our careers".

The Lions captain on that tour, Gavin Hastings, has also given his take on what to expect there. We'll get over there and we'll see [the rest of] you when you get here. I don't think Warren's going to change his tactics all that much, they call it Warren ball, but I just believe that's just going to be the way it is. On a fine Wellington day in front of 20,000 fans, the All Blacks beat their British rivals 9-3, setting the stage for an impressive rugby legacy.

"They're obviously the best team in the world so playing them in their back garden is going to be a massive challenge".

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