Topic: Rugby

Lions arrive and accept the challenge

By Eru Paranihi
  • Auckland

Representatives from the Lions accepted the challenge today that was laid out this morning at a welcoming by the Auckland Museum Kapa Haka group. accepted.

Gatland says, “A lot the players for Saturday have been working together over the last couple of weeks. Hopefully, they’ve got a bit of a head start in terms of preparation which is going to make it easier.”

British and Irish fans are optimistic that their team can pull off the unthinkable and beat the All Blacks. The British and Irish Lions have only claimed one series, and that was back in 1971 when there were four games, instead of three.

The Lions have a tough task ahead of the first test. There are matches with The Crusaders, the Blues, and the Māori All Blacks. But, for the former All Blacks hooker, it is the test matches that count.

“What I learned in 2013 is that who remembers the mid-week games? Who remembers all the other games? It’s all about winning the Test matches.”

The tour is also a homecoming for New Zealand-born players like Ben Te'o. The former Queensland Origin Maroons grew up in Auckland until the age of 17 and was welcomed by family.

Debutant Te’o says, “Good mate, it's good [to finally be here in New Zealand]. Get to training now, and get ready for the series.”

If the Lions want to take out the series, they need to win one of two games at Eden Park. But the All Blacks haven't lost a game here since 1994.