Junio 24, 2017

Lions call-ups reaction: Mixed emotions on social media

18 Junio 2017, 02:46 | Gerardo Tarin

CloseDan BiggarWALJohnny SextonIREOwen FarrellENG

CloseDan BiggarWALJohnny SextonIREOwen FarrellENG

The Lions' six mid-tour call-ups will all be on the bench for Tuesday's Chiefs clash in Hamilton.

But asked on Saturday what he expects the Lions to do, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen predicted that Sexton would be at first-five and Farrell at second-five for the first test.

"There's no doubt that there's some pressure on certain players and certain combinations have gone well", said Gatland, when quizzed on Warburton's situation.

Schmidt's squad, who are in Tokyo for a two-Test series with Japan, were also bypassed, but the Kiwi agreed with Gatland's tactics. Unfortunately he rolled his ankle a little bit so hadn't recovered in time. "The [Welsh] players that came in from Auckland last night and from Australia will be able to fit quickly into that time zone".

The Maori ran the ball with less abandon than expected and couldn't get their attack going, bar a breakaway try for Liam Messam.

The Lions will face back-to-back world champions New Zealand in the first Test at Eden Park next Saturday, with Bath flyer Watson calling on the tourists to add a lethal finishing streak.

British and Irish Lions: Liam Williams, Jack Nowell, Jared Payne, Robbie Henshaw, Elliot Daly, Dan Biggar, Greig Laidlaw; C.J. Stander, Just Tipuric, James Haskell, Courtney Lawes, Iain Henderson, Dan Cole, Rory Best (captain), Joe Marler.

A year ago he returned with Wales to play the Chiefs and watched as a Stephen Donald-inspired home side tore Gatland's second stringers apart to post a 40-7 victory.

Reserves: 16.Kristian Dacey, 17.Allan Dell, 18.Tomas Francis, 19.Cory Hill, 20.Alun Wyn Jones, 21.Gareth Davies, 22.Finn Russell, 23.Tommy Seymour.

"Some of the stuff people have been saying puts a bit of a dampener on the tour - but that's professional sport now - you've got to live with that". "I was never unconfident about that".

New Zealand warmed up with a 78-0 win over Samoa but Davies said the Lions had a "very, very good chance" of winning the first Test.

"Leigh Halfpenny obviously took a knock on the weekend, so he's going through the Head Injury Assessment (HIA) protocols".

"We can be pretty proud of that performance but we know to play the All Blacks and beat the All Blacks we need to take another step up and hopefully we'll see that next week".

"But aside from that nothing that's a concern for too long".

"It was pretty good", said Gatland. They will try to dominate the All Blacks at set pieces, then apply pressure through their accurate kicking and their smothering kick-chase. Finally, with 68 minutes on the clock, the referee eventually signalled offside by waving his arms back and forward and the Lions, to jeers from the crowd, kicked another three. We've had to adapt to the southern Hemisphere play in the scrummage and we've been working on that and we had been working on that before at the start of the tour.

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