Gatland: Wallabies 'easy' pickings

Thu, 13 Dec 2012 08:20
Large b i lions presser 630 Large warren gatland beer 630 Large gatland farrell rowntree ho Large warren gatland bar Large howley gatland rowntree fa2 Large warren gatland lions presse

British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland fired the first verbal salvo ahead of his team's tour to Australia next year.

British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland fired the first verbal salvo ahead of his team's tour to Australia next year, claiming the Wallabies are the easiest to knock over of their Southern Hemisphere rivals.

Gatland certainly handed Wallaby coach Robbie Deans a motivational Christmas gift, when he declared 2013 presents the Lions with their best chance of of ending a 16-year wait for a series win.

"It's maybe the easiest [opponent] from a Lions perspective," said Gatland, when asked to compare Australia to fellow Southern Hemisphere powers New Zealand and South Africa.

"In the past there are teams that have had some success against the Australian sides."

Gatland's comments, which are sure to fire up the Australians even six months out from the three-Test series, are backed up by the rankings with Australia the lowest of the three teams that host the four-yearly Lions tours at No.3.

Australia were thrashed 33-6 by France last month, and only scraped past England, Italy and Wales in their other year-end Tests.

"Going to one of the top-three teams in the world, playing away from home and being successful is incredibly challenging," Gatland said.

"But if you'd said to me, out of the three Southern Hemisphere teams, pick your choice of where you'd like to go, I would've said Australia, probably."

Gatland is the second straight Lions coach from New Zealand to tour Australia, after Graham Henry in 2001.

The Lions lost that series 1-2 and were beaten by New Zealand (3-0) in 2005 and South Africa (2-1) in 2009, leading some to question the value of the touring institution that began in 1888.

"The Lions, as a brand, to be successful it's got to win some tours," Gatland said.

And Gatland is wary of the Wallabies' well proven ability to bounce back from defeat with a winning performance.

"We've got to be incredibly aware if we happen to win the first Test. We'll know what's coming in the second Test.

"They will do whatever it takes to get a result."

AP

Brumbies vs Bulls
sast: 11h40 | local: 13h40

  • 23 | 6
LIVE
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 06 May 2016
Griffons v Eagles 15h00 Welkom
EP Kings v Blue Bulls 16h00 Port Elizabeth
Sat, 07 May 2016
Sunwolves v Force 05h15 Tokyo
Chiefs v Highlanders 07h35 Hamilton
Waratahs v Cheetahs 09h40 Sydney
Leopards v Boland 12h30 Potchefstroom
Griquas v Border 13h00 Kimberley
Sharks v Hurricanes 13h00 Durban
Pumas v Namibia 13h00 Mpumalanga
Golden Lions v Free State Cheetahs 13h00 Randburg
Newcastle Falcons v Sale Sharks 14h30 Kingston Park
Wasps v London Irish 14h30 Ricoh Arena
Worcester Warriors v Saracens 14h30 Sixways
Bath v Leicester Tigers 14h30 Recreation Ground
Gloucester v Northampton Saints 14h30 Kingsholm
Harlequins v Exeter Chiefs 14h30 Twickenham
Munster v Scarlets 15h00 Thomond Park
Zebre v Dragons 15h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Ospreys v Ulster 15h00 Liberty Stadium
Connacht v Glasgow Warriors 15h00 Sportsground
Edinburgh v Cardiff Blues 15h00 BT Murrayfield
Leinster v Treviso 15h00 RDS
Kings v Blues 15h05 Port Elizabeth
Sharks v Western Province 15h30 Durban
Fri, 13 May 2016
Highlanders v Crusaders 07h35 Dunedin
B&I LIONS
MORE LOGS