Former British and Irish Lions coach Dick Best fears that pivotal Ireland out-half Johnny Sexton will be targeted during the summer tour of New Zealand, assuming he even makes the plane.
Best was part of Ian McGeechan’s coaching ticket for the 1993 Lions tour to New Zealand and is all too aware of the power and ferocity that the premier rugby nation bring to bear.
“The New Zealanders know Sexton is important to the Lions, and so I wouldn’t be surprised if they targeted him. They’ve got a history where that’s concerned, but it has always happened in rugby – and I don’t have a problem if it is within the laws.
“He won’t last the tour – and that’s if he doesn’t get hurt before the tour starts. Sexton is a brave boy who will not pull out of tackles.”
The Lions embark on their ten-match tour of New Zealand next month and head coach Warren Gatland names his initial 37-man squad on Wednesday. Sexton is expected to be named in the squad and will likely be earmarked to take the No. 10 jersey for at least one of the three Tests against the All Black.
With clashes with the New Zealand Maori and five franchise sides, the 2017 tour is expected to be one of the toughest yet faced by the summer tourists.
Gary Brennan, Pundit Arena
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