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Lions hope to please their fans against Crusaders

20 Juin 2017

The Lions have had a mixed start to their tour of the Land of the Long White Cloud, scraping past the NZ Barbarians before losing to the Blues in midweek.

Hansen's assistant Ian Foster would be a strong favourite to succeed the 58-year-old, with fellow New Zealanders Joe Schmidt (Ireland), Vern Cotter (Montpellier) and Gatland candidates, Tew said.

Only three other families, the Nicholls and Brownlies in the 1920s and the Whitelocks this century, have had three brothers appear for New Zealand.

All the while he'll sit back and watch the Lions as they are put to the pin of their collar on a weekly basis by the cream of Super Rugby. Vern is coaching at a very high level and you wouldn't rule Gatty out either.

Coverage of today's match between the British and Irish Lions and the Crusaders will be shown live on Sky Sports 1 (Sky channel 409, Sky HD 409, Virgin 501 and BT TV 437), with the pre-match build-up starting at 8am and kick-off set for 8.35am. We don't know what Steve's doing yet but what we will do is manage the transition very well.

"Jordie coming away with us past year has paid dividends", Hansen told reporters in Auckland.

Read's recovery from a broken thumb means he should be fit for the first Lions Test, while Kaino is expected to play against Samoa a week on Friday.

Hansen says the squad was "by far the toughest" he has picked for some time and some quality players have missed out.

MacDonald says they have overcome similar methods from Super Rugby rivals this season, one reason why they boast a ideal 14-win record.

"Like any rugby player I just want to play". I don't think he's too bothered about what happens between now and then. More contentiously he has dismissed switching to a 16-year cycle to allow Argentina, now part of the Rugby Championship, to host the Lions before 2033 at the earliest.

"It's hard for them coming here on a Wednesday and playing on a Saturday". George North announces himself to the world with one of the greatest tries seen in a Lions jersey.

There is so much strength in depth in this country, I don't think there will be a lot of difference between some of the Super Rugby sides and the All Blacks. "I don't know what his thinking is", he said. "That's not on our radar".

The All Blacks coach has no truck with Gatland's notion that there is little or nothing to choose between the level of Super Rugby teams and that of worldwide sides.

There will also be eight internationals this weekend, including match-ups between Australia and Fiji, Italy versus Scotland, South Africa against France and Argentina taking on England.

"When it comes to picking the Test side, that's probably going to be one of the hardest to pick, getting that combination right".

Lions hope to please their fans against Crusaders