Lewsey: All Blacks not at their peak

Wed, 29 Mar 2017 11:06
Large josh lewsey 800

BRITISH AND IRISH LIONS: England international Josh Lewsey said the British and Irish Lions had a great chance to overturn the All Blacks this year with the rebuilding world champions not at the "peak of their powers".

Lewsey, speaking at the official launch of next month's Hong Kong 10s tournament, said the timing was good for Warren Gatland's Lions as they bid for their first series win in New Zealand in 46 years.

He said the All Blacks were "on their own journey" after greats including Richie McCaw and Dan Carter stepped down following the team's second successive World Cup victory in 2015.

"You can't just replace those [players] overnight, it takes a while. That doesn't mean players coming in aren't just as exceptional, but bonding a team tends to take five, seven, eight years, for a team to really go for it.

"If you are going to go down there and have a result, you're not playing a New Zealand who are right at the peak of their powers, so of course it's an opportunity," Lewsey said.

Lewsey, 40, started all three Lions Tests on their last tour of New Zealand in 2005 when the visitors were whitewashed 3-0. He tipped Lions coach Warren Gatland to impose a cohesive style on this year's composite team drawn from England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales.

"Warren will have a very clear strategy about how he wants to play, and similarly, he will pick players who are most suited to play that style. If you've only got a group of guys for a short period of time, it's the most effective way of gelling, and to be really clear what you want to do," he added.

He added that Gatland, a New Zealander, would know all about the strengths and weaknesses of the All Blacks ahead of the tour, which gets underway in June. Lewsey joked it would be hard for the 2017 team to be less successful than their predecessors 12 years ago under former England coach Clive Woodward.

"Perhaps we could have been more specific in terms of how we wanted to play. Because if you look at the teams in '05, man for man we had a fantastic group of guys, and obviously the Test series spoke for itself in terms of scoreline.

"But I can't help but feel with the talent we had, we underachieved," he stated.

Agence France-Presse

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 21 April 2018
Crusaders v Sunwolves 07h35 Christchurch
Reds v Chiefs 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Bulls v Rebels 13h05 Loftus Versfeld
Leinster v Scarlets 14h30 Dublin
Sharks v Stormers 15h15 Durban
Zebre v Ospreys 16h45 Parma
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 17h05 Kingspan Stadium
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 18h05 Kingspan Stadium
Sun, 22 April 2018
Brumbies v Jaguares 06h05 Canberra
Racing Metro v Munster 14h15 Paris
Fri, 27 April 2018
Munster v Ulster 22h00 Thomond Park
Worcester Warriors v Harlequins 22h00 Sixways
Wasps v Northampton Saints 22h00 Ricoh Arena
London Irish v Saracens 22h00 Madejski Stadium
Leicester Tigers v Newcastle Falcons 22h00 Welford Road
Gloucester v Bath 22h00 Kingsholm
Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks 22h00 Sandy Park
Kings v Cheetahs 22h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Treviso v Zebre 22h00 Stadio Monigo
Dragons v Scarlets 22h00 Rodney Parade
Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors 22h00 Myreside
Cardiff Blues v Ospreys 22h00 Cardiff Arms Park
Connacht v Leinster 22h00 Sportsground
Hurricanes v Sunwolves 07h35 Wellington
Stormers v Rebels 13h00 Newlands
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