Sport

All Blacks skipper Read in line to face Lions - Foster

All Blacks skipper Read in line to face Lions - Foster

British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland says players can stake a claim for Test selection against New Zealand when they face the Chiefs this morning.

Whichever team is able to make the most of their scoring opportunities in open play is going to be hard to beat.

Ireland loose forward Peter O'Mahony would make a rugged, uncompromising captain if he was named to lead the British and Irish Lions in Saturday's first test, All Blacks flanker Sam Cane has said.

"The frustrating thing for us is the amount of blocking that's going on, the off-the-ball stuff", Gatland told reporters. "I'd be more than comfortable with a number of players being able to do that". If you listen to the referee's mic, they were talking about it constantly through the Maori game. There's a correlation of what has to happen when the ball leaves the ground.

The Lions were airborne and they followed Nowell's try with another superb team try from inside their own half.

"We were apparently bad scrummagers last week", Foster said.

"That's made it hard".

"We feel that we've got a game and the players to play in all sorts of ways".

New Zealand boss Hansen has fired a host of verbal volleys in the Lions' direction ahead of the keenly anticipated three-Test series, which begins in Auckland on Saturday.

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The Chiefs, lacking several of their first-choice players, showed the odd flicker in attack but mostly it was a case of the Lions enjoying plenty of possession but conceding too many penalties for comfort.

"Look at our squad, the All Blacks are the best team in the world and rightly so, they're an unbelievable side".

Lawes returned after just five minutes off the field, with Jones heading back to the bench as the Wales lock was protected for Saturday's Test match.

"We just made a decision that it wasn't worth taking that risk".

ANDY FARRELL is aiming to turn the All Blacks' Eden Park fortress into a house of pain.

Former New Zealand captain Colin Meads believes the British and Irish Lions' odds of winning the first test have shortened dramatically after their emphatic 32-10 win over the Maori All Blacks on Saturday.

Biggar converted an the Lions went for another with a lineout drive close to the line, but the maul came down before it got over and the Chiefs could clear from the scrum.

The 31-year-old missed the 78-0 victory against Samoa last Friday to ensure he had the best chance of facing the Lions in the three-test series and assistant coach Ian Foster said the team were pleased with his progress. "I wouldn't want to put my house on (the result)". It is to his great misfortune that lock is the most competitive position in the Lions squad...

The statue has Meads, nicknamed "Pinetree", in running stride with a ball stuck in his right hand.


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