Lions will 'struggle' against All Blacks, says Eddie Jones


How strong will the Lions' non-Test opponents be? On one hand, it was a fitness drill created to condition players for a tour that was then 26 matches long.

The team go into the ten-match tour as heavy underdogs.

"The Lions, the All Blacks and the Legendary Tour of 1971", by Tom English and Peter Burns, details what is still widely regarded as the high water mark of Lions rugby and remains the tourists' only series win in New Zealand.

Thus, we want you to pick your preferred pairing by voting in the polls below and above. It would be wrong not to say that.

"New Zealand can be a bit cold at the start which is why they have arranged a warm-up match against Samoa", said Thrush, the former Hurricanes captain who played for the Barbarians against England at Twickenham last Sunday. That said, we heard this back in 2005 when Sir Clive Woodward marched into Auckland with his advisers and PR spinners and look where that got us. That's what I've done.

Lions backline boasting Barry John, David Duckham, JPR Williams, Gareth Edwards, Mike Gibson and captain Dawes thrilled spectators up and down the country.

McGeechan is the man who introduced Gatland to the Lions, and was quickly impressed by how the Wales coach bought into the Lions mantra.

"They have picked a certain style of team based on the influence of the Welsh coaches".

"I asked him as Forwards Coach to speak to the team around three games in".

Here, we identify some of the pre-tour talking points.

How big a toll on the Lions will injuries take?

England coach Eddie Jones said the British and Irish Lions will "struggle" to beat the All Blacks in their three-Test series because of the tactics of their coach, Warren Gatland. Often it is the least expected who star on a Lions tour, think back to Martin Johnson, who nobody knew on the 1993 campaign. "He knew how big the team is to New Zealanders".

"Ireland did it really well (against New Zealand) and I think the Lions are going to struggle". The ruse worked, with the Lions progressing to win every provincial clash while taking the Test series 3-0. It won't have done them any harm. The stadium could not be saved; major rugby matches in Christchurch have since been played at the much smaller AMI Stadium, though plans have been drawn up for a new, indoor stadium close to the existing site.

"They will go into the First Test in a good position".

It promises to be a great series, and, with thousands of Lions fans heading this way, a lot of fun off the field as well.

All Blacks also won the second test 11-8 and third test 22-8 before the Lions grabbed a consolation 9-6 win in Auckland. If he does so, it may well be a gamble which pays off in the Test matches.

"As long as internally, they feel their own game is developing and getting strengths - if there is the odd loss or two, it's irrelevant".

For what it's worth, I reckon they have made an excellent choice.

New Zealand Rugby Chief Executive, Steve Tew said the exhibition would provide something for everyone.

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