Steve Hansen questions British and Irish Lions tour schedule

Lynette Rowe
June 5, 2017

The players of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland - which has always remained a single entity in rugby - spend the four years between tours in fierce opposition, uniting only under the Lions' banner to storm the bastions of the southern hemisphere.

"I don't think we've lost a Test match through his goal-kicking", Hansen said of Barrett.

Toulon's Leigh Halfpenny flew in from France, the PRO12 contingent arrived from Limerick and south-west Wales while Wasps' Elliot Daly and James Haskell had to summon an inch of energy to travel from the east Midlands after a devastating defeat on Saturday.

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"The 1971 Lions changed the face of New Zealand rugby", the All Blacks' 2011 World Cup-winning coach and former Lions coach Graham Henry said in the book's prologue. But he finds it easy to compartmentalise disappointment, and re-focus on the job in hand.

"There is so much history there", Thrush said.

Ahead of the tour commencing, Omnisport spoke to a number of past and present Lions who offered their thoughts on how the series will go and where it will be won.

Conversely, it ended the careers of several icons of New Zealand rugby, not least "Pinetree" Meads, but the All Blacks quickly learned their lessons and have been "bouncing back" ever since.

"They are really good value off the field".

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Farrell is also waiting on which committee he will be assigned to.

"I am very happy with where we got to at the end of 2016", said Hansen.

After the turn of the 20th century the roles were reversed and the few Lions successes were restricted to forays into Argentina as well as Australia, then considered a warm-up before the real business of touring New Zealand. "The Lions are still going to have to play a bit to win the series and they will have to be smart".

The Lions left on Monday, and will spend Tuesday night in Melbourne before arriving on Wednesday, the stop-off in Australia ensuring the players get a solid night's sleep.

"If majority are not playing, what's stopping them getting on a plane now with most of the squad, for example?" They're going to try a Lions-type power, forward-strength game, which whether that's right or wrong is a matter of opinion.

"The series in New Zealand will be a contrast in styles".

Biggar, 27, is not heading to New Zealand looking to make up the numbers. But as they strolled around London, introducing themselves to one another, there was a quiet confidence among the class of 2017. "Having seen and having been involved in one tour myself you see how people get behind the Lions squad as well - it should be brilliant".

"A tour like this is about getting on with guys you did not think you would get on with".

Gavin Hastings: "I was disappointed with the itinerary, because that's not what the Lions tour is about".

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