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Warren Gatland confident in adaptable British and Irish Lions scrum

Warren Gatland confident in adaptable British and Irish Lions scrum”

"I'm just desperate to get some minutes under my belt". They have got some very good All Blacks players in that team and it was a good hit-out, but that is all it is really.

Anthony Watson has impressed me the most in that position and he only ended up there on Saturday because of the injury to Stuart Hogg.

Gatland was understandably delighted and when he was asked about the test series he started by praising Peter O'Mahony, Sean O'Brien and Toby Faletau before pausing to add: "I thought the guys coming off the bench were outstanding".

Henry was Lions coach in Australia in 2001 and Warren Gatland cited his mistakes as an example of what not to do with the touring team, as he divided the squad into two groups - test players and the rest.

The Test team to face the All Blacks at Eden Park on June 24 is starting to take shape.

.

Gatland says there are numerous areas to improve ahead of Tuesday's match against the Highlanders in Dunedin. The problem, of course, is there are doubts which persist over whether that is the case.

With travel fatigue now out of the system, the Lions needed to make a statement and ironically their cause was helped when Davies went off injured in the first half, allowing Johnny Sexton to take the field as a second playmaker.

This week's episode of The Hard Yards sees Stephen Ferris, Kev McLaughlin, Kiwi rugby writer Hamish Bidwell, Ladbrokes' Andy Wildig and host Andy McGeady discussing the underwhelming start to the Lions Tour and New Zealand's relationship with prodigal son Warren Gatland. However, the All Blacks have released fly-half Lima Sopoaga and risky winger Waisake Naholo back to the franchise for their showcase against the Lions. "I've received this role as tour captain and I know there's every chance that I might not even get involved in that first Test because there's every other player", he told reporters.

Читайте также: ICC okays World XI series in Pakistan

We've got to remember the first Test is not the be-all and end-all.

"I'll be honest with Gats and Gats will be honest with me". He needs some game time as well. "I thought performance wise it was good".

Both are known for their work-rate and if the Lions employ the same kicking tactics as those that proved so successful against the Crusaders they will be clocking a lot of metres on the kick-chase.

Passed fit to lead the Lions out against the Highlanders on Tuesday, Warburton has the chance to lay down a marker to Gatland.

"We're so desperate to have a good tour and we're only a fraction away from being three out of three", Warburton said.

"There's a great battle going on there", said Farrell of the shake-up at outside centre.

Ireland scrum-half Murray praised the Lions' forwards for gifting him a rock-solid platform from which to dominate with pinpoint tactical kicking in Saturday's impressive 12-3 win in Christchurch.

Lions: Payne; Nowell; Joseph, Henshaw; Seymour; Biggar, Webb; Marler, Best, Sinckler; Lawes, Henderson; Haskell, Warburton (captain), Stander.

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