Warren Gatland names a new starting XV for Blues clash

Warren Gatland names a new starting XV for Blues clash

Lions coach Warren Gatland goes on front foot at press conference when questioned on his coaching approach, promising to attack the Blues.

Sexton fluffed his lines in his worst performance in some time as the Lions laboured to a sloppy 13-7 win over the New Zealand Provincial Barbarians on Saturday.

Wales flanker Warburton played in his team’s 13-7 victory over the New Zealand Provincial Barbarians in Whangarei on Saturday night before waking up on Sunday morning to see events unfolding at London Bridge and Borough Market that has seen the death toll rise to seven and nearly 50 people injured as three attackers brought terror to the streets of the capital.

When quizzed on the latest round of implied All Blacks scorn on the Lions’ game plan, head coach Gatland vowed the tourists will build a varied attacking strategy.

The first Test against the All Blacks is on 24 June, also at Eden Park in Auckland.

We had a group of players who came through Wales at the time who ended up being pretty big, physical players.

As Warren Gatland and his men were being given an official Maori welcome in New Zealand the capital was being rocked by the incident in London. “We experienced that four years ago when people chose to be critical and a lot of people got caught with their trousers down afterwards, didn’t they?” I would have been happier of course if he’d knocked over that one he put against the post, that might have given us an easier last 10 minutes.

One factor in Sexton’s favour could be his partnership with Ireland team mate Connor Murray, who has the inside running to start at scrumhalf during the tests after both he and Sexton were twice outstanding against the All Blacks late previous year.

‘Players know, we’re not stupid, and after three or four games you can pencil in what the Test team will be.

“We know how tough the next few weeks are going to be and, as I said, getting that game under our belt today is going to hold us in good stead going forward”. “We created some good opportunities against the Barbarians but didn’t see them through and that is something we want to improve on”.

“We know the class of Johnny, he is a world-class player”, said Laidlaw, pictured below.

The head coach said some players were still struggling to adjust to their sleep patterns after their long-haul flight that took in an extra stop in Melbourne as part of their Qantas sponsorship.

“To match the All Blacks you’ve got to display a bit of X-factor”.

“We just walked between the two changing rooms”, Barbarians centre Dwayne Sweeney said as he emerged from the changing rooms wearing the number 12 Lions jersey of Ben Te’o.

“These players are being encouraged to develop their level of skills and to go out there and to do that”.

The Lions are next in action against Super Rugby outfit Blues at Eden Park on Wednesday. The fact that we’ll be here a week on Wednesday, hopefully it will prepare us much better for what’s ahead.