All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen continues to build pressure on the Lions prior to their three fixtures against his side over this month and next.
He has said that the Lions have to start winning if they want to be ready for the tests to come. The Lions have not quite hit expectations yet this tour, with an unconvincing win against the Provincial Barbarians and a poor performance against the Blues on Wednesday which ended in their first defeat of the tour.
From what the All Blacks mastermind said in a news conference, he seems disappointed in the quality from the Lions; “I wouldn’t say I’m expecting that X-factor from what I’ve seen so far on the tour, although if you look back at what those players are doing for their home countries, there is plenty of it,”.
Gatland has named a new look side for Saturdays fixture against the Crusaders, with a number of likely test starters playing their first game of the tour, including George North and Sean O’Brien. Gatland has a very short window to find his best side in time for the tests. The Crusaders are unbeaten this season and are favorites going into tomorrow’s clash.
Lions XV Vs. Crusaders
Starting XV: S Hogg; G North, J Davies; B Te’o, L Williams; O Farrell; C Murray; M Vunipola, J George, T Furlong; AW Jones (capt), G Kruis; P O’Mahony, S O’Brien, T Faletau
Replacements: K Owens, J McGrath, D Cole, M Itoje, CJ Stander, R Webb, J Sexton, A Watson