Deans: Lions have 'huge advantage'

Thu, 07 Mar 2013 13:29
Large andy irvine   robbie deans Large warren gatland beer 630 Large robbie deans in stands Large warren gatland sydney har3 Large robbie deans face 630

Wallabies coach Robbie Deans has defended a training camp ahead of the B&I Lions tour, saying the tourists have a "huge advantage".

Wallabies coach Robbie Deans has defended a controversial training camp ahead of the British and Irish Lions tour, saying the tourists have a "huge advantage" in the three-Test series.

Deans on Thursday made no apologies for putting a 25-man squad into an extended three-week camp and making them off limits to their Super Rugby franchises in the build-up to the June 22 first Test in Brisbane.

While the Wallabies will come together on June 2, the Lions - drawn from the four home nations England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland - will play three matches together in that time on their tour, which happens every four years.

Deans said he had hoped to have one warm-up match during the camp, like Rod Macqueen's 2001 team who played New Zealand Maori before a 2-1 series win against the Lions.

But it will not happen and he will make do with high-contact opposed sessions in training.

Deans, facing his biggest series as Wallabies coach, rated Australia's preparation as the "shortest in the history of the game for a Lions series".

"You go back to 2001 and the Wallabies had similar time [to prepare], but with a [warm-up] game, so it was obviously a more complete prep, and they got spanked in the first Test," Deans told reporters.

"Rod Macqueen, who spoke with us recently, quite openly conceded that the preparation wasn't adequate, and he's genuinely concerned by what we're confronted with.

"There's no doubt the Lions will have a huge advantage in terms of entering the series."

Macqueen said he spoke to Australia's extended 49-man squad at a logistics camp in January about the intensity and magnitude of the series against the Lions, and underlined the ferocity of the 29-13 opening loss at Brisbane's Gabba in 2001.

The Waratahs, Brumbies, Rebels and Reds all wanted to have their star players available for June 7 to 9 Super Rugby matches.

AFP

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 27 May 2016
Hurricanes v Highlanders 07h35 Wellington
Waratahs v Chiefs 09h40 Sydney
Boland v Eagles 13h00 Wellington
Free State Cheetahs v Pumas 13h00 Bloemfontein
Kings v Jaguares 17h00 Ascoli Piceno
Border v Falcons 17h00 East London
Sat, 28 May 2016
Blues v Crusaders 07h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Sunwolves 09h40 Canberra
Western Province v Griquas 10h15 Newlands
Blue Bulls v Leopards 12h15 Loftus Versfeld
Stormers v Cheetahs 13h00 DHL Newlands
Namibia v Griffons 13h00 Windhoek
Golden Lions v EP Kings 13h00 Johannesburg
Saracens v Exeter Chiefs 14h00 London
Bulls v Lions 15h05 Loftus Versfeld
Leinster v Connacht 16h30 Edinburgh
Sun, 29 May 2016
Rebels v Force 06h05 Melbourne
England v Wales 14h00 London
B&I LIONS
MORE LOGS