Before the Lions tour began, New Zealand media outlet, Newshub, ran a survey which polled 1,000 New Zealanders on their knowledge of the 2017 British and Irish Lions squad.
The results didn’t reflect too kindly on the knowledge of the Kiwi general public. 78% couldn’t name a single member of the Lions squad, while 57% of those polled didn’t know that New Zealand native, Warren Gatland, was the head coach.
Now, these type of surveys are not without their faults, you could potentially get the same type of results if you asked a random group of people in the UK or Ireland on their knowledge of Steve Hansen’s side but for a country famous for its rugby, the results were a little bit surprising.
This topic was raised recently as Jamie George was fulfilling his media obligations during the week and the Saracens hooker was frank when giving his thoughts on the matter.
“To be honest, I’m not too bothered if they know us or not. If we win the series 2-1, I’m sure they’ll know who we are.”
George is probably right, it’s rare that the All Blacks lose back-to-back Test matches. The last time this occurred was in August 2011. New Zealand lost to the Springboks 18-5 at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth before losing to the Wallabies 25-20 at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.
If George can help the Lions secure a historic victory against the All Blacks on Saturday, losing back-to-back Test matches won’t be the only thing that will hurt Steve Hansen and his squad, losing in their fortress that is Eden Park will surely sting too.
As much as the New Zealand public would want to forget that, one would expect that to remain in the memory for a considerable amount of time.
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