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Principale » Blues defeat was "great preparation" for Gatland

Blues defeat was "great preparation" for Gatland

19 Juin 2017

"To concede (a late try) the way we did having fought back twice was disappointing", he said.

In their favour perhaps is the fact that they are starting halfback Conor Murray, an Irishman who can hold claim to being one of the best No9s in the world, and Englishman Owen Farrell, a talented operator and presumably their starting No10 for the first test on June 24.

"There were probably things we took for granted, and they got shown up in that game", said Faumuina. We have got to take those as positives, and keep going and building, leading up to the Test matches.

The Crusaders always loomed as the toughest opponents of the opening 10 days and Gatland has made a decision to field what appears to be the strongest Lions side yet in a bid avoid what would be a dispiriting second defeat so early on the tour.

Now's not the time for Warren Gatland to hold his team back, if indeed they are holding back.

They struggled again in a game played at pace and were unable to dictate the pace of the game through their control of possession.

Wales lock Alun Wyn Jones will skipper the British & Irish Lions in the third game of their tour of New Zealand against Crusaders in Christchurch on Saturday.

New Zealand prop Faumuina will face the Lions in Blues colours in Auckland today, some 17 days out from the first Test.

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"Northern hemisphere teams, they love a kick, so we will be preparing ourselves to have an aerial battle, and we sent a whatsapp message last night saying that we are going to prepare for those high balls".

"The Crusaders are playing with a lot of confidence".

Warburton was absent from the 23 for the second match in succession having played 66 minutes of an unconvincing opening 13-7 victory over the New Zealand Provincial Barbarians at the weekend - his first game since suffering a season-ending medial knee ligament injury on European duty with the Cardiff Blues in April.

"We have to make sure we stay in games for 80 minutes". "Our squad is working hard and we are seeing improvement in their performances both at training and in the games".

On Saturday, the Crusaders represent a considerable step up in intensity with coach Scott Robertson fielding all of his All Blacks, with six in the pack alone.

Crusaders head coach Robertson believes the Blues' victory on Wednesday will only serve to harden the Lions' will to win, with the tourists bidding to ignite their 10-match tour.

Lions: Hogg; North, Davies, Te'o, Williams; Farrell, Murray; Vunipola, George, Furlong, Jones (capt), Kruis, O'Mahony, O'Brien, Faletau.

Crusaders: Israel Dagg, Seta Tamanivalu, Jack Goodhue, David Havili, George Bridge, Richie Mo'unga, Bryn Hall; Jordan Taufua, Matt Todd, Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, Sam Whitelock (captain), Luke Romano, Owen Franks, Codie Taylor, Joe Moody.