The British and Irish Lions Test Series against New Zealand takes place from 24 June 2017 to 8 July 2017.
The British and Irish Lions tours are special as they only take place every 4 years and very seldom do players play in more than one series against the British and Irish Lions.
The last time the British and Irish Lions toured New Zealand in 2005, they lost the series 3-0 thanks to the likes of Dan Cater and Richie Macaw. The only time the British and Irish Lions beat the All Blacks in a test series was in 1971. Overall the Lions record against New Zealand is poor with 6 victories, 3 draws and 29 defeats.
New Zealand are the number one side in the world for good reason. They have power upfront, a dynamic loose trio and extremely fast, skillful backs. The team has the ability to cut teams to shreds. Last weeks 24-21 loss can be attributed to playing with 14 men after Sonny Bill Williams got sent off in the first half. It was only in the last few minutes that the Lions managed to take the lead after being behind for most of the game. There are a few changes to the New Zealand side with Jordie Barrett coming in to full back and his Hurricanes team mate Laumape in the Centres. This selection is a bold move by Hansen and co but they obviously something special in Barrett.
The good news for the All Blacks is the fact that it looks like it will be a clear and calm evening in Auckland on Saturday, and there will be a clear desire to express themselves and back their attacking ability when the opportunity arises.
British and Irish Lions
This years squad is widely thought to be the strongest squad in recent memory. Warren Gatland, head coach, guided the Lions to a 2-1 series victory over Australia in 2013 and he will be hoping to secure a historic series win against his country of origin.
The Lions fought hard for their 3 point victory last week. They failed to take advantage of the 1 man advantage for the second half and it was only a late penalty that gave them the victory. Interestingly they outscored the All Blacks by 2 tries to nil, showcasing their well organised defense. The Lions go into this test match with the same starting team as last week and if they take all their chances then history could be in the making.
This is a huge chance for this group of players to show their abilities and reap the benefits of the work everyone has put in. It is their chance to make Lions history.
The Lions forwards have looked powerful and their defense has proved very difficult to break. A hard fought victory last week will add to their confidence and they will come out inspired and focused. The reality is that the All Blacks have won 47 out of 48 Test Matches at home over the past few seasons. Expect the All Blacks to come out blazing to avenge their defeat last week. All Blacks to wrap up the series with a 15 point victory.
For the win:
Betting odds are correct at time of publishing but are subject to change. To view the latest betting odds for the New Zealand vs British and Irish Lions, visit Keith Ho BetXchange.
Lions 15: Liam Williams, Anthony Watson, Jonathan Davies, Owen Farrell, Elliot Daly, Johnny Sexton, Conor Murray; Mako Vunipola, Jamie George, Tadhg Furlong, Maro Itoje, Alun Wyn Jones, Sam Warburton, Sean O’Brien, Taulupe Faletau.
Replacements: Ken Owens, Jack McGrath, Kyle Sinckler, Courtney Lawes, CJ Stander, Rhys Webb, Ben Te’o, Jack Nowell.
All Blacks 15: Jordie Barrett, Israel Dagg, Anton Lienert-Brown, Ngani Laumape, Julian Savea, Beauden Barrett, Aaron Smith; Joe Moody, Codie Taylor, Owen Franks, Brodie Retallick, Samuel Whitelock, Jerome Kaino, Sam Cane, Kieran Read.
Replacements: Nathan Harris, Wyatt Crockett, Charlie Faumuina, Scott Barrett, Ardie Savea, TJ Perenara, Aaron Cruden, Malakai Fekitoa.