Hot off the press!

Gatland to increase training efforts

North outrunning the Force

Jun 06, 2013

Warren Gatland says the British and Irish Lions may need get serious in training to make up for the lack of Force in the games leading up to the tests. Force's squad included seven players who have no Super 15 experience.

"Ideally we want to play against the strongest sides we possibly can," said Gatland.

"If we can't, then we are going to have to replicate some of it in training potentially.

"That is something we learned from 2009. We arrived at that first Test against South Africa thinking we were in pretty good nick and there was a big step up. I don't think we will get caught this time.

"We have just got to be aware of the opposition we are playing, and if we do get victories like this, then not get carried away with it."

While the Queensland Reds are likely to provide a much sterner test on Saturday, they, like the Waratahs, ACT Brumbies and Melbourne Rebels, will not be fielding most of their Wallabies, who are in camp preparing for the three-Test series.

"I think there is something special and unique about Lions tours and you have got to embrace them. The amount of money it is going to generate for Australian rugby, they need to take it seriously.

"The Force were thinking about their Super 15 game on Sunday and made a few changes. That is their prerogative. Ideally we'd have liked to have played a stronger side but we just made the focus about ourselves. I am sure the Reds will be a lot tougher in Brisbane on Saturday.

"It was a good hit-out. We spoke at half-time about making sure we played for the full 80 minutes, and we did that. There are things for us to work on, our shape. We fixed a couple of things up defensively at half-time, and it was pleasing we came out afterwards, scored pretty quickly and kept that tempo."

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