Gatland's son puts family first for Lions tour

Fri, 02 Jun 2017 08:12
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B&I LIONS SPOTLIGHT: Warren Gatland's son Bryn said that he hopes his father's British and Irish Lions sweep all before them in New Zealand - except when he's on the opposing side.

Gatland junior, a promising flyhalf, has been picked in the Provincial Barbarians to face the Lions in the tour opener in Whangarei on Saturday.

The 22-year-old is also a possible starter for the Auckland Blues when they take on the tourists at Eden Park next week.

Bryn said he would be doing his utmost to defeat the Lions, but there was no question of divided loyalties for the rest of the blockbuster tour.

"Obviously growing up I've always been an All Blacks supporter but I'm also a believer in family comes first," he told NewstalkZB.

"So when it comes down to Dad versus the All Blacks, it's not about me wanting the All Blacks to lose, it's about me wanting Dad to be successful.

"I'll be really proud if he can achieve that goal of beating the All Blacks,"

He said the Barbarians, widely regarded as the weakest team the Lions will face on their 10-match tour, would not be intimidated by their star-studded opponents.

"No one's really backing us, which is fine, but it's a chance for us to play against the best in the world and put our best foot forward," he said.

"We've had the green light from the coaches to go out and give it a crack and if you make a mistake or it goes wrong they're not going to bark at us."

He said he had never played against a team coached by his father, and that they had enjoyed some verbal jousting over the Barbarians fixture.

"It's a bit of an extra bonus, we've had a bit of banter about it," he said. "It's all pretty light-hearted stuff."

Meanwhile, his father has welcomed the fact that the most of the Lions' tour opponents will perform the haka, saying it will make his players familiar with the fearsome Maori challenge before they face the All Blacks.

"The more times you face up to it, you don't mind it, it's a motivational thing, it's not intimidating," he told reporters.

"I'm pleased my players will face it more than once. You become familiar with it. It becomes part of regular preparation for a game."

He said the Lions had not planned any response to the war dance.

Agence France-Presse

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 29 July 2017
Crusaders v Chiefs 07h35 Christchurch
Golden Lions v Griquas 10h00 Johannesburg
Lions v Hurricanes 12h30 Ellis Park
Sharks v Pumas 15h00 Durban
Sun, 30 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Western Province 12h30 Bloemfontein
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 July 2017
Pumas v Golden Lions 43 | 36
Sat, 22 July 2017
Griquas v Blue Bulls 45 | 51
Stormers v Chiefs 11 | 17
Lions v Sharks 23 | 21
Crusaders v Highlanders 17 | 0
Fri, 21 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 47 | 12
Brumbies v Hurricanes 16 | 35
Sat, 15 July 2017
Sharks v Lions 10 | 27
Bulls v Stormers 33 | 41
Force v Waratahs 40 | 11
Hurricanes v Crusaders 31 | 22
Chiefs v Brumbies 28 | 10
Sunwolves v Blues 43 | 21
Fri, 14 July 2017
Kings v Cheetahs 20 | 21
Rebels v Jaguares 29 | 32
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