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

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sun, 24 September 2017
London Irish v Northampton Saints 13h00 Madejski Stadium
Exeter Chiefs v Wasps 14h00 Sandy Park
Fri, 29 September 2017
Sharks v Golden Lions 17h00 Durban
Newcastle Falcons v London Irish 18h35 Kingston Park
Worcester Warriors v Saracens 18h35 Sixways
Sale Sharks v Gloucester 19h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Glasgow Warriors v Treviso 19h35 Scotstoun Stadium
Leinster v Edinburgh 19h35 RDS Arena
Scarlets v Connacht 19h35 Parc y Scarlets
Sat, 30 September 2017
Griquas v Free State Cheetahs 12h00 Kimberley
Leicester Tigers v Exeter Chiefs 13h00 Welford Road
Munster v Cardiff Blues 13h30 Thomond Park
Northampton Saints v Harlequins 14h00 Franklin's Gardens
Cheetahs v Ospreys 14h00 Bloemfontein
Wasps v Bath 14h00 Ricoh Arena
Zebre v Ulster 14h35 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
South Africa v Australia 15h05 Bloemfontein
Dragons v Kings 18h35 Rodney Parade
Sun, 01 October 2017
Argentina v New Zealand 22h30 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
BRITISH & IRISH LIONS
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
B&I Lions 0 0 0 0 0
Australia 0 0 0 0 0
Barbarians 0 0 0 0 0
Force 0 0 0 0 0
Reds 0 0 0 0 0
Waratahs 0 0 0 0 0
Brumbies 0 0 0 0 0
Rebels 0 0 0 0 0
NSW-Queensland 0 0 0 0 0
Blues 0 0 0 0 0
Highlanders 0 0 0 0 0
Hurricanes 0 0 0 0 0
Crusaders 0 0 0 0 0
Chiefs 0 0 0 0 0
NZ Barbarians 0 0 0 0 0
Maori All Blacks 0 0 0 0 0
New Zealand 0 0 0 0 0