The Lions didn’t get off to a particularly auspicious start on Saturday and will hopefully have shaken off the lethargy caused by the journey by Wednesday.
The teams have been announced and the Blues look a formidable outfit –
Blues: Michael Collins; Matt Duffie, George Moala, Sonny Bill Williams/TJ Faiane, Rieko Ioane; Stephen Perofeta, Augustine Pulu; Ofa Tu’ungafasi, James Parsons (C), Charlie Faumuina; Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, Scott Scarfton; Akira Ioane, Blake Gibson, Steven Luatua.
Reps: Hame Faiva, Alex Hodgman, Sione Mafileo, Patrick Tuipulotu, Kara Pryor, Sam Nock; Ihaia West, TJ Faiane/Melani Nanai.
Warren Gatland has, as expected rung the changes as he plans to give everyone in the squad a start I n the first three games –
Lions: Leigh Halfpenny; Jack Nowell, Jared Payne, Robbie Henshaw, Elliot Daly; Dan Biggar, Rhys Webb; Jack McGrath, Ken Owens (C), Dan Cole; Maro Itoje, Courtney Lawes; James Haskell, Justin Tipuric, CJ Stander.
Reps: Rory Best, Joe Marler, Kyle Sinckler, Iain Henderson, Peter O’Mahony, Greig Laidlaw, Johnny Sexton, Liam Williams.
If there is any comfort from the slow start against the Provincial Barbarians it might just be this – the 1971 Lions also played not long after getting off the plane – and they lost to Queensland 15-11.
They were described by one reporter after the game as ‘the worst Lions side to come to New Zealand’
That report turned out to be the equivalent of Decca turning down the Beatles!
Be great if history repeated itself over the next six weeks!