Sam Warburton to captain British and Irish Lions in tour opener

Sam Warburton to captain British and Irish Lions in tour opener

Asked if the Lions can shock the whole country of New Zealand, Gatland said: "That's hopefully the whole plan".

It will be wonderful if the Lions can do well against the best side in the world.

"I can see how from the outside it looks bad but I think it's fine really".

"We are all hugely excited about the first game on tour", Gatland said.

It also features three national captains in Warburton (Wales), Rory Best (Ireland) and Greig Laidlaw (Scotland).

"We've got footage available to us of all the players picked in the squad, but it's hard to know what we'll come up against".

From there things will undoubtedly heat up as they take on all five Kiwi Super Rugby franchises, the New Zealand Maori and target a Test series win against the All Blacks.

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Johnny Sexton, Iain Henderson and Rory Best have been named in the team.

In the backs, Ben Te'o and Jonathan Joseph, among 14 players who joined the Lions training camp on day one, comprise an English midfield, while Six Nations Player of the Championship Stuart Hogg gets a chance to stake his claim for the No 15 Test jersey.

Sinckler is ready to rip into the New Zealand Provincial Barbarians after promising he would be "angry, aggressive, uncompromising".

Laidlaw hailed head coach Gatland's status as a series-winning Lions boss, in the wake of a warning over coaching style from Eddie Jones.

"What happens with national sides is not so relevant here now", said Laidlaw.

"There appears to be greater interest in the All Blacks-Lions series (in Australia) than the Wallabies tests in June", Crowe added. "Given the limited preparation time we have and other challenges we've faced, it would be ludicrous of us to fight fire with fire".

Jones told The Telegraph's Full Contact podcast he felt the Lions would be "looking to attack like Wales" and would "struggle to beat the All Blacks like that".

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The Lions should win this easily enough - anything less than a comprehensive victory would signal impending disaster - but would underestimate the opposition at their peril.

The programme has been developed in collaboration with the Four Home Unions with the aim of using the Lions brand to inspire a future generation of rugby players and to help retain existing youth players in the game.

"He's a very detailed coach. What we lack for in time, we'll make up for in energy and enthusiasm".

Gavin said: "You posted a video on Youtube about why you should be selected, and I got an interview".

But one way the Lions can go about combating their opponent is by attacking their talented fly-half says Robinson.

"I thought they created real opportunity and a lot of that comes down to the coaches".

"I'm going to need a good few games I think before I start to hit my straps".

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