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Lions schedule criticised by All Blacks coach Hansen

02 Juin 2017

He already knows what it is like to beat the legendary men from the land of his birth after being part of Ireland's historic victory over the back-to-back world champions in Chicago last autumn. The last lot in 2005, labelled the most professional and well-prepared tourists to head to New Zealand, failed miserably.

Though the presenter is quick to point out that the focal point of the documentary is not just the national side, but the country as a whole.

'But we're only assuming that, we're not believing it until we see them play and, with a tour, you do get to see the opposition play a bit, so we'll be able to confirm one or two things prior to that first test'.

"The series in New Zealand will be a contrast in styles". There were also provincial losses to Southland, Otago, Wellington and Wanganui-King Country and when they stopped off on the way home for two games in Canada, the Lions came unstuck against British Colombia.

"We have got to play a Lions formula rugby that tries to take away New Zealand's threats, etc".

It also surely got rid of any notion that the front row for that game - Graham Rowntree, Mark Regan and Jason Leonard, all of England - would be good enough for the Tests. "I don't know if I want the pressure of it, but we'll see where I fit in".

New Zealand Rugby Chief Executive, Steve Tew said the exhibition would provide something for everyone. It was a short trip - just 12 games - and the Wallabies were downed 2-1. "It's a part of our DNA".

This will be a tour of big calls and huge collisions, one which Gatland has in many ways been working towards for much longer than the eight months since his appointment.

And when it came for the test series to begin, huge expectations were put on the All Blacks to win their third successive series over a Lions team.

"That's where it all started; he was the original captain. I wanted to make his podcast popular".

The Spirit of the Black Jersey tells the stories of Kiwi rugby greats in an exhibition that includes rugby jerseys worn by players from some of New Zealand's most notable teams, including the World Cup winning All Blacks, Black Ferns and 1905 Originals and trophies now held by New Zealand teams. I have got to find my feet pretty quickly, I have got to slot in.

Lions wore dark blue jerseys, forcing the All Blacks to play in white in the first test.

"My mates still play touch rugby on a Monday night, it's in the blood". The 1971 Lions are the only ones to win a series in New Zealand. "I'm enjoying it. That's one of the things that will bring you together. there's been a fair amount of it, to be fair, and I hope it will be good". They need to prove that they are a serious rugby side as worthy of respect as any of their component nations.

Gatland was depicted as an unsmiling clown by one New Zealand paper after once accusing his compatriots of arrogance for booing Australia's Quade Cooper, behaviour he described as "embarrassing". Sexton will need to have a blinder as Owen Farrell could rightly consider himself the unluckiest player in world rugby to miss out. It was a collective effort and we are proud of the result.

Lions schedule criticised by All Blacks coach Hansen