NZ's unknowns to throw everything at Lions says Jones

Thu, 01 Jun 2017 12:20
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B&I LIONS IN NEW ZEALAND: The British and Irish Lions will not be taking the New Zealand Provincial Barbarians lightly in their encounter on Saturday.

The match at Okara Park in Whangarei will be the Lions' first outing in their 10-match series in New Zealand.

The Provincial Barbarians team features a host of unknown players from 14 provincial rugby unions across New Zealand, but that does not mean it will be a total walkover for the touring Lions side.

"I've been involved and watched games like this before and these players you play against grow two inches, grow an extra arm, an extra leg and are able to cover a lot more meterage, they get faster because they're having an opportunity they might not get again," said British and Irish Lions lock Alun Wyn Jones.

"I think from our point of view it's also an opportunity that we might not get again as well so I think that feeling will be felt both ways."

Some of the players in the Lions squad have not played a game since the closing stages of the European season and are relishing the opportunity to shake off some rustiness.

"I think everybody wants to get out of the blocks," Jones added.

"You know it has been a couple of weeks [since playing a match] if not more for a few guys, so we're going to need a hit out. 

"Sometimes when you've got an unknown quantity you have to go back to basics and that's essentially keeping the ball and going forward and that's what we'll try and do."

Jones will form a second-row partnership with Irish lock Ian Henderson in Saturday's clash and it will be interesting to see how the duo gel on Saturday.

"It's my first opportunity to play with him [Ian Henderson]. I think the composure and the laid-back approach he has is a big positive for him.

"I've been a fan of watching some of his games for Ulster.

"I think he is one of the growing leaders within the Irish squad as well so it'll be great to play with him on Saturday," said Jones.

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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