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Graham Henry urges Lions to change game plan for third Springboks test

Graham Henry Lions

Graham Henry has called on the British and Irish Lions to go on the offensive in their test series decider against South Africa this Saturday.

In the first two test matches between the Lions and the Springboks both sides have employed similar attacking game plans which consists mostly of kick and chases, with the tourists coming out on top in the first encounter, while the hosts claimed the second.

Former Lions and All Blacks head coach Henry was speaking on Sky Sports NZ’s The Breakdown and argued that Warren Gatland’s side will not win if they do not change their attacking style of play.

Graham Henry on the Lions: ‘If they want to win, they’ve got to play.’

“If the Lions don’t change the game plan and [don’t] use the ball a lot more, I don’t think they’re going to get the result they need,” Henry said.

“If they want to win, they’ve got to play. That’s fair. At the moment, it’s a hard watch for people that have been watching it.

“It’s a hard watch and both sides are playing similar football – kicking a lot, big defences. Somebody’s gotta find some attacking flair to win this game. The Springboks will win if the game continues the same way.”

The New Zealander’s coaching expertise.

Henry is one of the most experienced international coaches in the world, having taken charge of Wales, New Zealand and the British and Irish Lions.

The New Zealand didn’t have much success during his time with Wales (1998 – 2002) but he was appointed as the head coach of the Lions for their tour of Australia in 2001 nonetheless.

The Lions lost that series 2-1 against then-reigning World Champions Australia, but the tourists certainly excited supporters under Henry, although they were helped by exceptional attacking talents Brian O’Driscoll and Jason Robinson.

Henry’s greatest period as a head coach came with his seven-year long tenure of the All Blacks, in which he led them to a World Cup triumph in 2011, with an overall win-rate of 85 per cent from 103 test matches.

While New Zealand did suffer some heart breaking losses under Henry, most notably the 2007 World Cup final against France, the All Blacks certainly proved that attacking, exciting rugby can bring success.

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