Gatland says Lions ready to roar during Aussie rugby tour

Warren Gatland
Warren Gatland NZ Herald / Mark Mitchell

BRITISH and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland has promised his side will deliver an entertaining brand of rugby in its bid to overturn the Wallabies.

A common public slant is the Lions' recipe will be to batter the Wallabies with their pack and then pummel them with their giant backline.

However, Gatland was adamant his group would offer a variety of threats when they landed in Australia next month for the three-test series.

"If we are going to beat the Wallabies it won't be by just kicking or sticking the ball up our jumpers," he said.

"We are going out there to play rugby."

Players not involved in matches in Europe have gathered in Wales and Ireland this week to work on plans to repeat the 75% winning record the Lions have in Australia.

They lost the most recent series in 2001 and in 1930 but have won their six other tours and 15 of their 20 tests.

Gatland settled on flanker Sam Warburton to captain the tourists as the fourth Welshman to achieve that honour.

He is just 24 but had been leading Wales for several years and was the most successful captain in the Northern Hemisphere.

"He is a very modern professional and is a very special individual in the way he conducts himself," Gatland said.

"He is not a big talker, he does not talk for the sake of it but he certainly sets the tone."

Warburton was learning, like other captains Richie McCaw and David Pocock who are also flankers, how to engage with referees without upsetting their authority, Kiwi Gatland said.

The Lions would also have to adapt, Gatland added.

They wanted to play a broad brand of rugby but would face variable conditions from the cool of nights in Canberra to the humidity in Brisbane and different conditions in Sydney.

Gatland said he had only tapped strongly into the Super 15 in the last month but would speak to some coaches to get their feedback on the Australian sides.

"I did not see a lot of weaknesses when I watched some of the games," he said.

Topics:  british and irish lions warren gatland

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Snitz sizzles to win qualifier with ease

IN FULL FLIGHT: Brisbane jockey Robbie Fradd streaks clear to win the $150,000 NRRA Country Championships qualifier on board Snitz, trained by Matt Dunn, at Clarence River Jockey Club.

SHORT priced favourite sends everybody home happy.

Ballina Players brings popular military drama to the stage

ON STAGE: John Rado as Colonel Nathan Jessep and Dylan Wheeler as Lt Daniel Kaffee in the Ballina Players production of A Few Good Men.

Tickets are on sale for their new production of A Few Good Men

Triumph of dreams ... it all started with one bike

A CLASSIC: Meerschaum Vale's Col McAndrew with his Triumph 1956 Speed Twin which he will show at the Northern Rivers Classic Motorcycle Club's Show and Shine at Alstonville Plaza on March 18.

Col has six classic bikes; 100 expected at show

Local Partners