George keeps 'clear head' ahead of decider

Wed, 05 Jul 2017 07:22

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Hooker Jamie George says the British and Irish Lions cannot let the occasion overwhelm them, as they chase a historic Test series win over the All Blacks.

Tied at one-all, the Lions can snare their first series in New Zealand since 1971 when the tour reaches a blockbuster finale at Eden Park on Saturday.

George acknowledged the importance of the match but said Warren Gatland's men had to concentrate on their rugby for the decider against the back-to-back world champions.

"Immortality? We're fully aware of what's at stake, [but] we can't get carried away with the emotional side," he said.

"We've got to go into the game with clear heads and attack it.

"Sometimes you can maybe get overawed by the occasion and think about making history. But we can't think about that."

The Lions edged the 14-man All Blacks 24-21 in Wellington but George said the tourists would need to improve against a New Zealand side intent on revenge.

"It's about taking it to another level now," he said.

"We know that the All Blacks will be hurting and will come back firing.

"So we need to be able to take ourselves to a place we've never been before, both mentally and physically."

The Saracens front-rower said the Lions could also not afford to be intimidated by the All Blacks' record at Eden Park, where they have not lost for 23 years.

"There's a huge amount of excitement. We're aware of the record at Eden Park but we're going to be looking to change that this week," he said

The 26-year-old, whose 17 England caps have all come off the bench, has hit a rich vein of form in New Zealand, earning himself a starting spot in the first two Tests.

"I've taken a lot of confidence from the way I've been playing. I'm learning a lot from the people around me; the likes of Tadhg Furlong and Alun Wyn Jones," he said.

"To be run around by Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton is pretty special."

Agence France-Presse

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