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Rory Best to captain Lions against Hurricanes on Tuesday

26 Juin 2017

Gatland remains determined to see referees police similar attempts across the remainder of the Lions series.

Warren Gatland poked the bear, and sure enough it stirred, and roared.

Coach Warren Gatland yesterday dropped a strong hint the pair, who were restricted to second-half substitute roles in the 30-15 defeat against the All Blacks at Eden Park, will step up in the search for extra forward firepower. I guess he might be a bit desperate.

But history is stacked against them as the Lions have only twice won a Test series after losing the opening game - in 1899 and 1989.

British & Irish Lions: L Williams (Wal); A Watson (Eng), J Davies (Wales), B Te'o (England), E Daly (England); O Farrell (Eng), C Murray (Ire); M Vunipola (Eng), J George (Eng), T Furlong (Ire); AW Jones (Wal), G Kruis (Eng); P O'Mahony (Ire), S O'Brien (Ire), T Faletau (Wales).

It was the assertion of intent to injure where Gatland annoyed Hansen, that the All Blacks were intentionally reckless, bordering on unsafe, and could hurt Murray.

Hurricanes v Lions is live on talkSPORT on Tuesday 27 June at 8.30am (BST) here.

"There were a couple of times from Conor Murray where there was a charge down where someone dived at his legs", said Gatland.

The All Blacks appeared rocked, and Murray continued to test them with a number of high kicks, but New Zealand gradually began to find their feet as Barrett drove them into action through a brilliant one-handed pick-up under pressure.

"It's just a safety issue for me".

Hansen said it was simply a chance to get players to play games and also play against the Lions, which only happens once in a player's career.

The second Test against the All Blacks is on Saturday, 1 July. "Two weeks ago, we cheated in the scrums; last week, it was blocking; now we're saying this".

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"It's really disappointing to hear it, because what he's implying is that we're going out there to intentionally injure somebody and that's not the case".

"That's not the case".

The All Blacks had lost fullback Ben Smith and center Ryan Crotty to injury in the first half but it was the strategic swap of both props after 50 minutes that triggered the next score.

Steve Hansen phoned a local radio station in New Zealand, Radio Sport, to call the Lions coach "desperate".

Gatland will release his team for the crucial encounter later this week.

"We are not intentionally trying to hurt anyone", he said.

Hansen says Gatland is losing touch with reality, saying his players are entitled to either try to charge down kicks or effect a tackle. Both those things are legal.

"Just because [Murray] is one of their key players, he doesn't have the right to go around the park without being charged down or tackled".

WARREWN GATLAND will ask the referees to clamp down on the All Blacks' "dangerous" harassment of Conor Murray's kicking game.

"It wasn't a surprise the way they came at us, we've got to learn from that and be better and expect more of the same on Saturday".

"They were pretty brutal in that breakdown area and we need to match fire with fire if we're going to do well on Saturday night".

Rory Best to captain Lions against Hurricanes on Tuesday