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, 24 November 2017
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors 22h00 Liberty Stadium
Ulster v Treviso 18h05 Kingspan Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Connacht 18h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Leinster v Dragons 18h35 RDS Stadium
Newcastle Falcons v Gloucester 18h45 Kingston Park
Leicester Tigers v Worcester Warriors 18h45 Welford Road
Sale Sharks v Northampton Saints 19h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Sat, 25 November 2017
Bath v Harlequins 11h15 Recreation Ground
Italy v South Africa 13h00 Rome
Scotland v Australia 14h30 Cardiff
England v Samoa 15h00 Twickenham
Wales v New Zealand 17h15 Cardiff
Ireland v Argentina 17h30 Aviva Stadium
Cheetahs v Edinburgh 17h30 Bloemfontein
France v Japan 19h00 Paris
Sun, 26 November 2017
Zebre v Munster 13h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Kings v Scarlets 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Saracens v Exeter Chiefs 14h00 Allianz Park
London Irish v Wasps 14h00 Madejski Stadium
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