Elusive Test series win drives Lions

Fri, 21 Jun 2013 11:35
Large sam warburton profile Large poses2 630 Large b i lions giant shirt Large sam warburton jersey stitch

Sam Warburton said the desire to achieve something no B&I Lions team has done for 16 years will drive his side to success.

Skipper Sam Warburton said the desire to achieve something no British and Irish Lions team has done for 16 years will drive his side on to success in the three-Test battle against the Wallabies.

The Lions have not won a series since Martin Johnson's men delivered the goods against South Africa in 1997.

Since that tour, the Lions have won two, drawn one and lost seven of their Test matches, and they were beaten 2-1 by the Wallabies 12 years ago.

But Warburton, 24, believes the desire is there to make history, starting with a win in the opening Test in Brisbane on Saturday.

"Everybody is desperate to achieve. It's the one thing you will see in the body language of every player for every game, because none of us has achieved a Lions Test series win," Warburton said Friday.

"It's something you desperately want to have on your rugby CV. We've got European Cup winners, Grand Slam winners, English champions - all these competitions, but nobody's ticked the Lions box.

"That's something which I think we will be pretty desperate in wanting to achieve. That's the one thing which will be a certainty in all three matches - the players' determination to get a result."

In Warburton's favour this weekend will be the fact the Wallabies haven't played since last December and will be fielding three new caps.

History also shows that the Lions have yet to lose a Test in Brisbane, with seven successive victories stretching back to 1899.

The Lions may have lost their unbeaten tour record against the ACT Brumbies in Canberra on Tuesday after five straight wins, but Warburton doesn't feel that will affect morale in any way.

"The Brumbies were a well drilled outfit - physically excellent, they competed hard at the breakdown. But we had five players in the backline playing their first game," he said.

"It was always going to be a difficult ask against the top [provincial] side in Australia. It won't have affected our confidence - you don't have time to dwell. If we can win the Test series people won't remember the Brumbies game."

The Cardiff Blues flank has led the Lions to two weekend wins, against Queensland Reds and the NSW Waratahs, after overcoming a knee injury and will be looking for a hat-trick at Suncorp Stadium.

"I have been thinking about this for quite a while, how it might feel. But I won't truly know until I actually do it," he said.

"The last two games have been awesome, but I know it will be at another level again on Saturday.

"I have led Wales out in some pretty big games, but that will be blown out of water by the Lions, which is the ultimate pinnacle in rugby - I'm very proud to be doing it."

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