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Lions determined to defeat mighty All Blacks

Manager Warren Gatland believes his Lions side can beat the All Blacks

British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland defined two areas in which he is confident his Lions side will get the best of world rugby champions, New Zealand this summer. A confident and determined Gatland sees no reason why the Lions cannot repeat their 2013 triumph. Previously Gatland responded to some hard questions with the unveiling of his British and Irish Lions squad picks to tour New Zealand, and now faces a more important question, can his side actually defeat the All Blacks? “That's kind of the challenge, isn't it?” replied Gatland. “As coaches, you're trying to deliver that message sometimes when you're playing the All Blacks about confidence and self-belief,”

Gatland said after announcing his 41-man squad to take on the world champion New Zealand All Blacks, “You're not too sure when you get that glazed look from the players if they honestly believe that.” Sixteen Lions rugby players already know what it takes to win on a Lions tour, having been part of the successful 2013 British & Irish Lions squad. The other 25 rugby players that he has selected also know they can defeat the top national team on the planet and have the desire and confidence to bring home the trophy from New Zealand. “One of the disappointments of 2013 is that there were two or three players who were just happy to be on tour and who didn't compete,” said Gatland. “But looking at this squad, everyone will be thinking they're good enough and they have a good chance of starting as number one in the Test matches.”

The squad appears fit and good enough to defeat the All Blacks this time around, however six of the starting Lions XV have never toured with the Lions before, and two players are yet to win a Test cap for the side. But the talented squad can rival New Zealand who lost to a number of these players in the 40-29 defeat by Ireland in Chicago last October. Gatland’s Lions side will feature some of the world’s best second-row operators, and the back-row looks impressive as well. The talented Jonathan Sexton and Owen Farrell may unlock the potential in Anthony Watson, George North and Stuart Hogg. Head coach Gatland picked two key areas that indicate that the Lions are able to beat the All Blacks for the first time since the famous 1971 tour, after ten other Lions sides have since tried to conquer New Zealand and all have lost.

“Looking at the squad, the point of difference is maybe our goal kicking,” said Gatland. “I think we’ve got four or five of the world’s best goal kickers going with us and if we’re going to have an edge somewhere it could be in that area.” Sexton and Farrell were among the two most talented goal-kickers in the 2017 Six Nations championship. Leigh Halfpenny’s has a great history of success. Wales fly-half Dan Biggar is tops at his position. “Beauden Barrett is not kicking at the moment, his brother is for the Hurricanes and it may be the difference,” added Gatland.

Gatland believes that his front-row and second-row options can rival their opposite numbers in the New Zealand squad. “You’re trying to find areas where you’re going to have an advantage, and New Zealand always feels that their difference between the rest of the world is their tight five and their ability of the tight five in terms of ball handling. We feel we’ve got a tight five that can match them, we feel we’ve got a tight five who are going to be excellent at the set-piece in terms of scrums and lineouts, but also have got the ability to get around the park and have got some good hands and strong ball carrying ability as well and the other thing is the ability to match them off the bench, and sometimes the Celtic nations can’t do that and struggle in that area and we feel we’ve got the players who can come off the bench and have a massive impact too.”

So Gatland is convinced that his side have a great chance to finally defeat New Zealand again. Recently Ireland proved that anything can happen when two teams of extremely talented and motivated rugby players compete. But the Road to New Zealand Glory will be a tough battle, and the Lions will need their fans’ energetic support and for every part of their rugby game to be focused with team players fit and motivated to take home the tournament silverware by conquering the All Blacks. Be there live in the electric energy to cheer for the Lions! Buy the very best, hard-to-get British & Irish Lions tickets for all matches in the New Zealand tour series from LiveRugbyTickets.co.uk!

England and Scotland rugby tickets

If you and your rugby fan friends are not able to make the trip to New Zealand this summer to watch the British & Irish Lions series, you can buy rugby tickets now to be sure to not miss out on the following exciting England and Scotland games as well as Autumn Internationals tickets, and Six Nations tickets from LiveRugbyTickets.co.uk!

2017 Autumn Internationals tickets
Wales v Australia Tickets 11 Nov Millenium Stadium Cardiff
England v Australia Tickets 18 Nov Twickenham Stadium Twickenham
Wales v New Zealand Tickets 25 Nov Millenium Stadium Cardiff

2018 Six Nations tickets
Wales v Scotland Tickets 3 Feb Millenium Stadium Cardiff
Italy v England Tickets 4 Feb Stadio Olimpico Rome, Italy
Ireland v Italy Tickets 10 Feb Aviva Stadium Dublin, Republic of Ireland
Ireland v Wales Tickets 24 Feb Aviva Stadium Dublin, Republic of Ireland
Scotland v England Tickets 24 Feb Murrayfield Stadium Edinburgh
France v England Tickets 10 Mar Stade de France Paris, France
Wales v France Tickets 17 Mar Millenium Stadium Cardiff

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