Farrell: These Lions have BMT
The B&I Lions' big-match experience will prove the difference in the Test series opener against the Wallabies on Saturday.
The British and Irish Lions' big-match experience will prove the difference in the Test series opener against the Wallabies on Saturday, the tourists' defence coach Andy Farrell said.
The Lions starting XV weighs in with a total of almost 800 Test caps headed by Irish veterans Brian O'Driscoll and Paul Connell, who have 222 international appearances between them.
The Wallabies in comparison have a combined 519 Test appearances, with three players - Israel Folau, Christian Lealiifano and Ben Mowen - making their Test debut.
And dual Rugby Unions and League international Farrell, whose flyhalf son Owen is on the Lions' reserves bench, said that superior experience would be a telling factor against the Wallabies.
"Experience in big games counts for a lot. Australia have got world-class players and we've got world-class players," Farrell told a press conference on Friday.
"What you generally get when you come to an occasion like this is the performance level rises another 10-15 percent and the more experience that you've got [the better].
"It gives you great pleasure just to look around the team meeting this [Friday] morning and just see who's in the room and who's going to battle with you."
Farrell said spending six weeks together on tour would be to the Lions' benefit and added that they had a couple of things up their sleeve to throw at the Wallabies at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium.
"I think there's a realisation that all we've worked for over the last week is coming tomorrow. You can tell, Test week, there's a buzz about the place, there's an excitement about the players," the Englishman said.
"There's an intensity about the way they train and the work ethic on and off the park is at a different level. We certainly have had a great week.
"You train together for six weeks and you have a plan and you hold a few things back and you don't want to show everything you've got.
"But, at the end of the day, when it comes down to big games, everyone knows what wins big games. It's physicality, it's energy, it's a want to try and get over your opposition and it won't be any different whatsoever.
"We're not stupid, there's always going to be a plan there, we've got to get our own house in order. Over the last six weeks, we've done a lot of learning... You don't want to show everything first up."