Few surprises in Gatland's Lions: Hansen

  • Few surprises in Gatland's Lions: Hansen

Few surprises in Gatland's Lions: Hansen

Anxious his team will be underdone, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen is likely to give his side a warm- up match against Samoa on June 16.

"Sam is a great player, an outstanding leader and a winning Lions captain", said Gatland. But, whilst Warburton maybe very well known for his costly red card against France in 2011 or his recent decision to step down as Wales captain, he is one of the best flankers in the world despite a recent dip in form. "The guy that has the last say is the guy that's usually coaching them so..."

I heard the other day a Kiwi asked if they can win the series 3-0 and they said they didn't want to win 3-0, they want to win 10-0.

New Zealand coach Steve Hansen has responded to Dylan Hartley's omission from the British and Irish Lions touring party by suggesting the England captain would have been "an asset" to Warren Gatland's side.

"It's an excellent squad".

"It's an wonderful feeling, a really proud moment for me and my family but it is just as everyone describes it, it's a once in a lifetime thing".

"Four of the players have come through the age-group system at the club and both Vunipolas arrived at Saracens under the age of 21, so their selection is the culmination of a lot of hard work from the players themselves, our coaching staff and support team".

Warburton - the 2013 skipper for the tour of Australia - will be the second player to captain the Lions twice, after Martin Johnson (1997, 2001).

England have supplied 16 of the 41 players bound for New Zealand in Lions colours this summer, leaving Jones with significant holes to plug.

British and Irish Lions fans will hope the "Saracens Six" can match the achievement of London Welsh's "Magnificent Seven" by helping the combined side win a Test series in New Zealand.

"Can they beat the All Blacks?"

"Gats is very smart".

"He's looked at what happened in '05, when they (the Lions) misread the atmosphere and got it totally wrong".

"They had no option but to accept the itinerary, really". You don't get too many shocks these days with things but it's definitely something that's come out of the blue for me.

Fitzpatrick rattles off some names.

In all 11 Irish players will travel, with Robbie Henshaw, Jonathan Sexton, Jack McGrath, Tadhg Furlong, Sean O'Brien, Conor Murray, CJ Stander and Peter O'Mahony the others.

"Facing New Zealand is going to be tough".

"That's what makes it so exciting".

"We are very happy with the quality we have in the squad", said Gatland, who has been involved in the selection process for the past three Lions squads.

After the Lions were named, Gatland highlighted that All Black first five-eighths Beauden Barrett wasn't even kicking for the Hurricanes, emphasising that the Lions would head south with a squadron of goalkicking aces.

"It doesn't surprise me one bit because he was probably one of Wales' best players in New Zealand when we went there last summer".

The All Blacks have been warned.

"If you look back at what happened in Chicago, that's the game-plan Joe Schmidt developed".