Saturday, 26 May 2018
Latest news
Main » Gatland drafts in reserves for Lions; Donald to lead Chiefs

Gatland drafts in reserves for Lions; Donald to lead Chiefs

19 June 2017

Replacements: 16-Kristian Dacey, 17-Alan Dell, 18-Tomas Francis, 19-Cory Hill, 20-Alun Wyn Jones, 21-Gareth Davies, 22-Finn Russell, 23-Tommy Seymour.

Scotland's Finn Russell and his worldwide team-mate Allan Dell were also brought in as cover for the remaining tour matches against provincial sides.

"We are five games into the Tour and there is still a lot to play for", said Lions head coach Gatland.

Gatland has dismissed mid-week losses to the Auckland and Blues and Otago Highlanders as part of a learning process with winning the Test series the goal starting with the first Test in Auckland next Saturday.

The Ireland stalwart impressed again in Saturday's 32-10 win over the Maori All Blacks, and is now itching to face the All Blacks.

There's been legends of New Zealand who have never played the Lions and they'll be well-aware of that.

More news: Russian Federation scores wild first goal vs. New Zealand at 2017 Confederations Cup

"I have had no contact from the Lions at all", he said.

The Chiefs have not been able to select any of their All Blacks as Anton Lienert-Brown, Aaron Cruden, Tawera Kerr Barlow, Sam Cane, Brodie Retallick and Nathan Harris are all in camp ahead of the first test in Auckland on June 24.

"It's hard to justify geography", said the former Lions coach, adding: "I think if that was always part of his planning then he could have been speaking to Eddie Jones, for, certainly the England players to be released last week".

After turning 12-10 ahead, a penalty try soon after half-time and try from lock Maro Itoje - when the Maori had a man in the sin-bin - gave the Lions complete control at a wet Rotorua. "We're forcing a few errors, we've played as physically as we should be but is there room for improvement?"

"It's nearly using defence as an attacking weapon in itself", said Haskell, who starts for the Lions against the Chiefs on Tuesday.

The Lions held a 12-10 lead at the break courtesy of four Halfpenny penalties but they were guilty of too many indiscretions under pressure themselves, something that Gatland said they had eliminated in the second half.

More news: Euro zone yields off lows as US policymakers hike rates again

"It's a huge day for me personally and an incredible honour to captain the Lions against a good side like the Maoris and to come out with a huge win, I'm proud of the boys".

"We've been guilty of putting ourselves under pressure but we got some going forward - even the try they scored was a lucky, speculative kick through".

"And on the back of that, if we haven't earned the right we've also been good at adjusting".

For that to become an issue, the Lions would have to show more attacking intent than they did against the Maori. They will be with us for a week and are there for bench cover.

He also defended calling in six extra players from the Wales and Scotland squads, who are already in the southern hemisphere, so he could have two squads of 23 and Test players would not be required for midweek duty.

"The Barbarians game was tough because we arrived on Wednesday and we were expected to play on the Saturday", said Sexton.

More news: LG announes the new G6+ & G6 with 32GB internal Storage

Gatland drafts in reserves for Lions; Donald to lead Chiefs