Mercoledì, 17 Ottobre, 2018

Lions send message to All Blacks

Warren Gatland is set to increase his panel in the build-up to Tuesday's game against Chiefs Warren Gatland is set to increase his panel in the build-up to Tuesday's game against Chiefs
Pammachio Corsino | 20 Giugno, 2017, 02:09

While Tuesday's team contains few, if any, of the players who will face the All Blacks at Eden Park, Gatland says the midweekers will play a role in keeping the Lions' confidence high approaching the three-test series.

"They were all pretty keen to play", Rennie said of his Maori representatives.

"They were super in the last quarter of the game". "I wouldn't want to put my house on (the result)".

The Chiefs might be missing a number of players on worldwide duty but it would be foolish to write off the Super Rugby side.

So impressed were the New Zealand media with O'Brien's display that they claimed the Lions should use his game, as well as the similar bite of Maro Itoje and Taulupe Faleteau as a springboard to their game.

Jack Nowell, the Exeter winger, struggled defensively against the Blues and made just 29 metres with ball in hand against the Highlanders, but Gatland feels he is the best winger in the northern hemisphere at playing off scrum-half and fly-half.

"But coming on against the Crusaders and on Saturday, he has come back and played well".

Explaining why he felt hard done by in seeing penalties given for defenders being offside in that game, he said: "It was a little harsh but we've been looking for it [the offside line] and I'm still looking for it now".

But the fact they are in the midweek team, playing just four days before the first Test can not be ignored and Tommy Seymour's place on the bench on Tuesday suggests his chances of featuring against the All Blacks are slim. They strike off turnover ball and look for mismatches in the defensive line where a back can attack a forward in the hope that will create enough space to play the ball out of contact.

Schmidt expects all his players to be available for next Saturday's rematch in Tokyo, despite Simon Zebo, Paddy Jackson, Luke McGrath, Finlay Bealham, Leavy, Rhys Ruddock and Cian Healy all leaving the field with injuries during a fast-paced encounter.


Warren Gatland has warned skipper Sam Warburton that he may be overlooked for selection in the British and Irish Lions' first test meeting with New Zealand next weekend.

British and Irish Lions assistant coach Andy Farrell has urged his tourists to continue their momentum against the Chiefs on Tuesday, insisting they will unleash "a hell of a side" against New Zealand.

While the Lions had 75 per cent of possession in the Maori match, including 90 per cent in the second half, they scored only one try from general play.

Speaking this week, Biggar said he wouldn't let the inclusion into Tuesday's squad get him down.

If the logic, backed up by the performances hold, could this then be the Lions XV for the All Blacks clash on Saturday?

The six players Gatland called up this week-Tomas Francis, Allan Dell, Kristian Dacey, Cory Hill, Gareth Davies and Finn Russell-will all be on the bench for the match.

"There is so much happening off the ball in terms of holding players or subtly holding players".

"The Lions will be ready and up for it and we're just going to have to work out what we've got to do to negate it", said Lienert-Brown.

"We have other players who are fresh and keen and we've got confidence in so the rest of those guys will miss out".

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