Now that we know who will be on the plane to New Zealand this summer with the British and Irish Lions, our excitement is scaling new heights. And there’s still six weeks to go until the tour kicks off.
Following last week’s squad announcement, Warren Gatland’s focus will now be firmly set on preparing his players for the monumental task that is taking on the All Blacks.
The Kiwi is set to travel to his home country, leading his selection on the tour, which will include three Test matches against the World Cup champions.
The test for Gatland will be to motivate his star studded squad of players while encouraging them to gel together. In some previous cases, Lions managers have struggled to find the remedy for players from Ireland, England, Wales and Scotland, who are so accustomed to tearing shreds out of each other and viewing each other as stark nemeses, to bond and grow a team spirit within the camp.
Take for example the last time the Lions toured New Zealand. The 2005 tour was doomed from the outset, with players on that squad having since admitted the lack of team chemistry cost them dearly as they sunk to a 3-0 series defeat.
If the Lions boss is struggling for inspiration on how to motivate this set of northern hemisphere rugby’s biggest names, it would be no harm for him to check out the compilation of speeches by former Lions captains and coaches below.
We highly doubt the multiple Six Nations, Heineken Cup and grand slam winning manager, as well as being the man who masterminded the latest successful Lions tour, will require the inspiration, but we felt you might enjoy the clip.
Aaron Ward, Pundit Arena
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