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The 2017 British & Irish Lions played 10 matches on their tour of New Zealand – including three Test matches against the All Blacks.

On their first tour to New Zealand since 2005, the next generation of Lions began their tour on Saturday 3 June against a PU Team at the Toll Stadium, Whangarei.

In total, they played seven mid week matches on Tuesdays and Wednesdays against all of New Zealand’s Super XV teams – the Blues, Crusaders, Highlands, Chiefs and Hurricanes.

The Lions, who were coached by Warren Gatland to a 2-1 series win over Australia in 2013, had six games before the first Test against the All Blacks at Eden Park, Auckland on Saturday 24 June. They then faced the Hurricanes before the final two Test matches on Saturday 1 July at the Westpac Stadium, Wellington before the series decider back in Auckland on Saturday 8 July.

The Lions will also travelled to Dunedin, Christchurch and Hamilton.

Sport | Rugby Union

Advantage New Zealand as British and Irish Lions suffer 15-point defeat in first Test at Eden Park

  • Gatland suggests Lions were caught off guard by New Zealand's tactics, not 'champagne rugby' 

lions all black tour 2017

The All Blacks extended their winning run in New Zealand to 47 matches with a powerful display in Auckland.

Warren Gatland’s men went into the first Test knowing the All Blacks had not tasted defeat at Eden Park for 23 years.

And as the hosts drove to a ten-point lead inside 18 minutes, in looked set to be a long, wet morning for the Lions in Auckland.

But they fought back strongly in the first half, culminating in a brilliant try scored by 30-year-old Irishman Sean O’Brien .

They trailed by just five points at the interval.

A flurry of changes were made after the break, as Maro Itoje and Sam Warburton were introduced.

But the All Blacks found another gear just before the hour mark, as Rieko Ioane went over. There was a brief stoppage for TMO, following calls of a knock-on, before referee Jaco Peyper signalled the try.

Beauden Barrett stepped up to kick the All Blacks into a 12-point lead.

Gatland tried to reel the game back by introducing Johnny Sexton soon after, but the All Blacks had the bit between their teeth.

Ioane went over against with less than ten minutes remaining, before Barrett's trusty boot extended the advantage to 22 points.

But subsitute Rhys Webb went over to score the Lions' second try of the match right at the death, before Owen Farrell converted to reduce the deficit to 15 - and that's how it finished.

The Lions will now move on to face the Hurricanes in Wellington on Tuesday, before the second Test on July 1.

Relive all of the action from Eden Park below...

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Codie Taylor extends New Zealand's lead, as the ruthlessness of the All Blacks comes to the fore with 18 minutes on the clock. The Lions had started well here, but they switched off, and you cannot do that against the best side on the planet.

First blood New Zealand, as  Barrett  kicks the penalty to put the  All Blacks ahead at Eden Park.

The All Blacks are deep inside Lions territory for the first time in the match, and Anthony Watson stretches to the absolute limit to cut this attack short from Barrett's kick. Great work from the Englishman there!

8 Minutes in, and It's certainly been an encouraging start by the Lions. Captain O'Mahony is doing well at the front, Daly continues to impress, but how important will that Izzy Dagg defence work prove to be right at the very start?

The first Test is under way as Beauden Barrett boots the series up and running! It's a positive start from the Lions, who win the first penalty of the match.

Jonathan Davies feeds Elliot Daly who goes charging towards the line, and we're going to get a early TMO decision here at Eden Park... has Israel Dagg stopped a try there? Yes, line-out is called.

And here come the All Blacks ...

The Lions have arrived at Eden Park!

Good morning! Welcome to the London Evening Standard's LIVE coverage of the first Test between New Zealand and the British and Irish Lions!

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Hansen releases All Blacks for start of Lions Tour

The British & Irish Lions will get an early look at some of their All Black opponents after Steve Hansen confirmed a number of them will be available for their Super Rugby sides at the start of the 2017 Tour. [more]

The British & Irish Lions will get an early look at some of their All Black opponents after Steve Hansen confirmed a number of them will be available for their Super Rugby sides at the start of the 2017 Tour.

Warren Gatland’s Lions will take on all five Kiwi franchises this summer during their six-week trip to New Zealand.

After opening up against a New Zealand Provincial Union XV on June 3, the Lions will then face the Blues and the Crusaders in quick succession at the start of the Tour.

And both sides are likely to include a number of familiar All Black faces including Sonny Bill Williams and skipper Kieran Read – before they are then called into camp by Hansen. 

"That's all been sorted," Hansen told

"The first two Super Rugby games before we assemble, they'll all be available. After that they'll be with us."

The Blues are the first Super Rugby side to get a crack at the Lions and their head coach Tana Umaga – who captained New Zealand against the Lions back in 2005 – cannot wait.

"Certainly as the first Super Rugby team to play the Lions, we are delighted the All Blacks will be available for selection," Umaga said.

"It will be a special occasion for the players and for the club and we would respect that by putting out our best team available."

And Crusaders supremo Scott Robertson – who is in his first year at the helm after taking over from Todd Blackadder – is similary excited.

"It's hugely significant for our region, the Crusaders and the people of Christchurch after what we've been through and not being able to host a Test match it's our equivalent," Robertson said.

"To have the All Blacks playing on top it's going to be a pretty special evening. It's history making.

"They've got a bit of time off afterwards to get themselves right for that first test match and it comes in our bye so there's a lot of things going for us. As a whole group it's something to look forward to."  

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Lions tour: Live updates - All Blacks vs British and Irish Lions - Third Test

  • Ben Francis


FULLTIME: The series finishes in a draw. Wow! What a match and what a series. Nobody saw this coming. A drawn series. 

Still not happy with that call to review the offside. I believe they got it wrong.

It should have been a penalty. But the All Blacks blew a number of chances to win the game. 

Great job by both teams. 

81mins: The All Blacks are going for a try and Jordie Barrett is tackles close to the line. 

80mins: The All Blacks are just outside the 22. 

79mins: Lions win the ball at the scrum but they knock it on. All Blacks scrum with seconds to go. 

78mins: It is now a scrum to the All Blacks. The referees have made a mistake here. Like I said remember Scotland v Australia in the 2015 World Cup. This is poor! Very very poor. All Blacks ball. 

78mins: They are reviewing the play which I thought was not allowed. Remeber Scotland v Australia at the 2015 World Cup?

They couldn't review that. So this is stupid. 

78mins:  The All Blacks kick the ball off and the Lions jump for the ball and it goes forward into the hands of Ken Owens who is in front. 

78mins: Penalty All Blacks. 

77mins: PENALTY GOAL LIONS: Tie game again in Auckland. The ball just goes over. Scott Barrett is now on for the All Blacks. 

76mins: Lions win a penalty on the halfway line. Owen Farrell is going for goal to tie the match up. 

76mins: Lions win the lineout. They go inside All Blacks' territory. 

75mins: Poor scrum by the Lions, but they win a penalty. Owen Farrell boots the ball deep into touch. 

74mins: The first scrum goes to ground it will be a reset. 

73mins: Israel Dagg charges at the Lions defence and the Lions turn the ball over. TJ Perenara is on for Aaron Smith. 

72mins: All Blacks scrum 22 out from the line. Aaron Cruden comes on for Julian Savea. Nathan Harris comes on for Codie Taylor. Ben Te'o is back on for Johnny Sexton and Jack Nowell is on for Anthony Watson.

72mins: The All Blacks drive into Lions territory. Aaron Smith chips the ball over the top and Beauden Barrett chases. It doesn't sit up nicely for Liam Williams who knocks the ball on. 

71mins: Jordie Barrett gets the ball and steps past a few defenders. The All Blacks then kick and the Lions return serve. 

70mins: Ten minutes remain in Auckland. All Blacks scrum.

69mins: Conor Murray is now off for the Lions and Rhys Webb comes on. Lions have a lineout just inside All Blacks territory... And it is not straight again. That is two now by Jamie George.

68mins: PENALTY GOAL ALL BLACKS: The All Blacks are back in front. Beauden Barrett kicks the goal. They lead 15-12. 

67mins: Penalty to the All Blacks right in front. The Lions collapse the scrum. Surely they will go for the points here. 

66mins:  Sam Warburton heads off for a concussion Test. 

66mins: But once again the All Blacks lose the ball. Great play by Taulupe Faletau. Malakai Fekitoa comes on for Ngani Laumape.

65mins: All Blacks go quick and Beauden Barrett charges at the line. Julian Savea carries the ball inside the 22. 

64mins: Lions win the lineout and Conor Murray clears it away and it is a perfect kick on a very tight angle. 

63mins: Beauden Barrett then gets the ball and kicks it downfield and it dribbles into touch, 10 metres out from the line. 

63mins: The All Blacks get it out and Israel Dagg clears it down to Liam Williams who charges at the New Zealand defence. Conor Murray kicks it to Jordie Barrett who takes a great catch. 

62mins:  Courtney Lawes knocks the ball on. All Blacks scrum inside their 22. Big scrum here. 

61mins: Scrappy play by the Lions, but it paid off as they are inside All Blacks territory and all of a sudden inside the All Blacks 22. The Lions chant is louder than ever. 

61mins: The Lions chant starts again around Eden Park. This is one tight Test match. Lions scrum just inside their half. 

60mins:  Jerome Kaino is back on while Ardie Savea is on for Sam Cane. Jack McGrath is on for the Lions. 

59mins: PENALTY GOAL LIONS: Tie ball game in Auckland as Owen Farrell kicks his third penalty goal of the match. It just creeps past the right hand upright. 

58mins: Penalty to the Lions for a dangerous tackle. This is well within range. And they are going for it.

57mins:  Wyatt Crockett and Charlie Faumuina both now on for New Zealand. 

57mins: The All Blacks win the scrum and Israel Dagg boots the ball away. Elliot Daly goes to grab the ball and is bobbles into touch. All Blacks lineout. 

56mins: The Lions get the ball inside the All Blacks 22, and they then knock the ball on. 

55mins: The All Blacks go wide and Jordie Barrett clears the ball. Jonathan Davies puts pressure on Barrett and he kicks the ball out on the full.

54mins: Another scrum reset. Which is good for New Zealand at it eats away at the clock. 

53mins: All Blacks scrum featuring Juliam Savea at the back. 

52mins: The Lions have an overlap down the right wing and they attack. But the last pass to Liam Willaims goes forward. Johnny Sexton is back on for the Lions. 

51mins:  Both sides kick the ball back and forth and eventually the ball goes out. Lions throw. 

50mins: The Lions kick the ball into touch and the lineout throw was not straight. Now the home side have a lineout which they win. Beauden Barrett clears the ball away. 

50mins: YELLOW CARD ALL BLACKS: Jerome Kaino will have a 10-minute rest here and you have to feel for the flanker. Of course, he was the odd man out when Sonny Bill Williams went given a red card last week.

50mins:  Alun Wyn Jones is heading off for a concussion Test.Courtney Lawes is on for the Lions. But it was a dangerous tackle and Jerome Kaino could be given a card here. 

49mins: Big scrum by the Lions and they go down the right wing before moving back infield. The All Blacks steal the ball and a Lions player knocks the ball on. 

48mins: The referee has told Sexton to get off because he has gone down numerous times in this match. Ben Te'o is on. 

47mins: Another mistake by the All Blacks. This is poor by the World Champions. Meanwhile, Johnny Sexton has gone down again!! 

46mins: That is the eighth handling error by the All Blacks. The Ball goes out of the scrum, and Jerome Kaino turns the ball over. All Blacks scrum.

45mins: Lions clear from the scrum and the ball goes into touch. The All Blacks go quick and the ball goes to ground AGAIN. Another chance blown by the home side. The Lions chant starts around the ground. 

44mins: The Lions prevent the maul going anywhere, and they get the ball out wide. Julian Savea in unmarked on the wing, but the last pass goes well forward and the Lions survive again. 

43mins: Great kick as the ball goes out five out from the line. 

42mins: Penalty advantage to the All Blacks now about 45 out from the posts. They are going for touch. 

41mins: PENALTY GOAL LIONS:  Elliot Daly lands the ball from over 50 out. All Blacks now lead 12-9

40mins: Lions win a early penalty on the hlafway line and they are going for goal. It is well over 50 on the angle. 

40mins: The All Blacks get the second half started at Eden Park. CJ Stander is on for Sean O’Brien

HALFTIME:  Despite dominating the first half, the All Blacks lead 12-6. They have had a number of changes to scoring more but the last pass has not come off. Ngani Laumape and Jordie Barrett have scored the only two tries of the first half. 

39mins: The All Blacks win the lineout. They drive forward. But it looks like they will wait for the siren and kick the ball out. 

38mins: The All Blacks win a penalty for being offisde at the lineout. 

37mins: Aaron Smith clears the ball insde the 22. It goes down to Liam Williams. The Lions quickly go inside All Blacks territory. On the next play Johnny Sexton kicks the ball downfield and it goes out five metres from the line. 

36mins: The try goes unconverted. 

35mins: TRY ALL BLACKS: Jordie Barrett is over. The All Blacks attack from the lineout. They to Laumape who offloads the ball to Anthon Liernert-Brown and he finds Barrett who scores his first Test try. 

34mins:  Sexton is back up and has his left ankle heavily strapped. He will try play on. All Blacks lineout inside Lions territory. 

34mins:  Johnny Sexton is struggling to walk here. Ben Te'o is up and he will come on it looks like. Time is off as we head into the final five minutes of the first half. 

34mins: The All Blacks win a penalty. 

34mins: Owen Farrell kicks the ball very high and Anthony Watson takes the catch. The Lions continue to attack as Johnny Sexton is down in backplay. Looks like an ankle injury. 

33mins: Liam Williams takes the kick-off and the Lions kick it to Jordie Barrett. Now the home-side returns serve and the Lions let the ball bounce. 

32mins: PENALTY GOAL LIONS: Owen Farrell lands his second penalty of the match and it is a  one-point ball game in Auckland. All Blacks lead 7-6

31mins:  Time is off again. Kieran Read and Sean O'Brien are both being attended too. Read looks okay as he gets back to his feet. 

31mins:  Kieran Read is down in back play along with a Lions player. But play goes on as the Lions carry the ball forward. They are just outside the All Blacks 22. Now they win a penalty. 

30mins: Time is off as both teams, even the referee need some water. It is a fantastic atmosphere here at Eden Park. 

30mins: Penalty to the Lions are the All Blacks don't release the ball. 

29mins: Great scrum by New Zealand and the All Blacks attack once more. They are just outside the 22, but another poor pass by New Zealand means they are forced back. 

28mins: Julian Savea with another big run on the wing. Now the forwards hit the ball up. They go back down the shortside and the ball is knocked forward by the Lions player trying to intercept the ball. 

27mins: The All Blacks go left, and have an overlap, but the last pass once again does not stick and the Lions have possession. Eventually they clear the ball and it goes out on the halfway line. 

26mins: The All Blacks are now 10 out from the line. They drive forward and are now five out. 

25mins: All Blacks scrum just outside the 22. 

24mins:  The All Blacks counter, but they knock the ball on. The Lions clear again and Jordie Barrett takes the catch. The All Blacks then kick to Liam Williams and Israel Dagg smashes him and the fullback knocks the ball on. 

23mins: Penalty to the Lions. They really needed that. They kick for touch, but the ball doesn't go out. 

22mins: Massive scrum by the All Blacks and they turn the ball over. Aaron Smith gives a fast ball to Beauden Barrett who can't hold on. Lions scrum again. 

22mins: Time is off as a Lions player gets some treatment. When play resumes it will be a scrum to the Lions. 

21mins:  All Blacks win the ball at the re-start and they get the ball wide to Julian Savea who goes on a blockbusting run. he is tackled five out from the line. The All Blacks go right and Sam Cane knocks the ball forward. 

20mins: PENALTY GOAL LIONS: The Lions are on the board as Owen Farrell throws the ball over the black dot. All Blacks leading 7-3. 

19mins: Owen Farrell will go for goal. 

18mins: Lions continue to attack and Johnny Sexton kicks high and Israel Dagg takes the catch, but the referee was playing an advantage. The Lions might go for the posts here. 

17mins:  The TMO wants to have a look at something again. Liam Williams ran right into Israel Dagg trying to win his side a penalty. Williams will be put up for an Oscars or a Golden Globe for that play. 

17mins: The Lions in possession with the ball and Conor Murray goes for a run. They go inside All Blacks' territory and then attack left. Jonathan Davies puts in a kick and Beauden Barrett is forced to take the ball into touch. 

16mins: The conversion from the sideline is over. All Blacks lead 7-0.

15mins: Now the TMO wants a look. But nothing comes of it and the try is given. 

14mins: TRY ALL BLACKS:  Ngani Laumape has his first Test try. Beauden Barrett gets the ball and kicks cross-field to his brother Jordie who taps the ball back infield to Laumape who goes over for the first try of the game. 

13mins: The All Blacks are fired up and are five out from the line. 

12mins:  After 14 phases the Lions go wide and Beauden Barrett intercepts the ball and he runs away. He finds Ngani Laumape in support and he runs., but his pass is intercepted by Anthony Watson. They are deep inside Lions territory. 

11mins:  A great run by Elliot Daly puts the Lions into All Blacks' territory. Now they are inside the 22. 

10mins:  The Lions clear the ball and Owen Farrell goes to clear the ball, but it goes out on the full. All Blacks lineout just outside the 22. Maro Itoje steals the ball at the lineout. 

9mins:  All Blacks win the scrum and go left, and the ball has been stolen again. 

8mins: Another scrum re-set. 

7mins: All Blacks back on the attack just outside the 22. But the Lions turn the ball over. However, they knock the ball on. All Blacks scrum 22 out from the line. 

6mins: The Lions get the ball out and Jonathan Davies charges at the line. The Lions then clear and the ball goes out into touch near the halfway line. 

5mins:  They have to re-set the first scrum of the game.... And another one!

4mins: They spead the ball wide and they have a overlap and they throw it to the wing and Julian Savea spills the ball. Blown try. Lions scrum. 

4mins: All Blacks lineout inside Lions territory and the home side win a free-kick and they take the quick tap.

3mins:  Beauden Barett gets the ball from the restart and he kicks it high. At the breakdown, the home side turns the ball over. 

2mins: Easy attempt for Beauden Barrett and the kick goes wide of the posts. 

2mins:  Ngani Laumape charges hard from the lineout. But the Lions turn the ball over, however, it is a penalty.

1mins:  Julian Savea gets the ball from the kick-off and Aaron Smith clears the ball which is fielded by Liam Williams who puts a foot into touch. 

KICK-OFF:  The third Test is underway at Eden Park in Auckland. The Lions get the match started.

7:33 pm: The Haka is done and a Lions chant starts around the ground. Kick-off is moments away. 

7:32 pm: The All Blacks go for Kapa o Pango and the crowd loves it! 

7:31 pm: The anthem is done. Time for the Haka. 

7:30 pm: It is time for the New Zealand national anthem. 

7:29 pm: Kieran Read leads the All Blacks out in his 100th Test match. This crowd is loud. What an atmosphere! 

7:28 pm: The Lions run out onto Eden Park to a massive roar. 

7:22 pm:  The Lions have won the third Test on their last two tours. Australia in 2013, and South Africa in 2009. 

7:20 pm:  Both sides are heading back to the sheds for the final time. Kick-off is 15 minutes away. 

7:19 pm:  Who do you think will win the match? Tweet us @NewshubSport

7:16 pm:  The last time the All Blacks lost consecutive Test matches was back in 2011. 

7:10 pm: Aaron Cruden and Charlie Faumuina are both set to play their 50th Test match for the All Blacks. It will also be the last for the pair who are off to France at the end of the Super Rugby season. 

7:05 pm: Kieran Read will become the seventh All Blacks to play 100 Tests for New Zealand tonight. 

The others who have played 100 Tests for the All Blacks are Richie McCaw, Keven Mealamu, Tony Woodcock, Dan Carter, Ma'a Nonu and Mils Miuliana.

7:00 pm:  The Lions have won the toss and will kick-off at Eden Park.

Hello and welcome to live updates of the All Blacks hosting the British and Irish Lions in the third and final Test at Eden Park in Auckland.

The Lions are hunting for their second Test series win over the All Blacks, with their only series win happening in 1971.

We bring you live streaming written commentary, video highlights (be sure to refresh your browser) and all the action. VIDEO will be available as soon as the final whistle goes.

Commentary will start from around 7:00 pm (NZT). In the meantime check out the video above as Ross Karl previews the deciding Test. 

1. Joe Moody, 2. Codie Taylor, 3. Owen Franks, 4. Brodie Retallick, 5. Sam Whitelock, 6. Jerome Kaino,7. Sam Cane, 8. Kieran Read (c), 9. Aaron Smith, 10. Beauden Barrett 11. Julian Savea, 12. Ngani Laumape, 13. Anthon Liernert-Brown, 14. Israel Dagg, 15. Jordie Barrett

Reserves: 16. Nathan Harris, 17. Wyatt Crockett, 18. Charlie Faumuina,19. Scott Barrett, 20. Ardie Savea, 21.TJ Perenara, 22. Aaron Cruden, 23. Malakai Fekitoa

1. Mako Vunipola, 2. Jamie George, 3. Tadhg Furlong, 4. Maro Itoje, 5. Alun Wyn Jones, 6. Sam Warburton  (c), 7. Sean O’Brien, 8. Taulupe Faletau, 9. Conor Murray, 10. Johnny Sexton, 11. Elliot Daly, 12. Owen Farrell, 13. Jonathan Davies, 14. Anthony Watson, 15. Liam Williams

Reserves:16. Ken Owens, 17. Jack McGrath, 18. Kyle Sinckler, 19. Courtney Lawes, 20. CJ Stander, 21. Rhys Webb, 22. Ben Te'o, 23. Jack Nowell

Match facts and stats

Referee: Romain Poite (FRA)

Sideline officials: Jérôme Garcès (FRA) and Jaco Peyper (RSA)

Review officials: George Ayoub (AUS)

Past meetings

Series won: Played 11, All Blacks 10, Lions 1

Head to head: Played 40, All Black 30, Lions 7, drawn 3

Last time played: Lions 24 def All Blacks 21, July 1 2017

Last time at Eden Park: All Blacks 30 def Lions 15, June 24, 20117

Head-to-head: All Blacks - $1.25 Lions - $4.10

Pre-match banter -  Opinion: All Blacks coaches roll the dice with Jordie Barrett

As talented as Jordie Barrett is, this is a gamble.

This may well be the first really questionable selection of Steve Hansen's incredibly successful tenure.

Running a 20-year-old in the vital tactical position of fullback, in his first start, in the most important test of the year, is rolling the dice. The All Blacks selectors must have serious belief in Barrett, as this game will partially define their legacy. I hope they're right and he lives up to his undeniable potential.

Barrett has done some superb things in Super Rugby and looked good for the Canes against the Lions. However, this is a completely different kettle of fish. On a wet night, with the opposition backline full of savvy kickers and a charging defensive line, he will be targeted.

When the pressure came on from the Crusaders this season, Jordie Barrett's inexperience was obvious. It was a learning curve. Without time on the ball, he simply wasn't a factor. The Lions will also get in his face this weekend.

Let's give Barrett his dues. The All Blacks could use a pinpoint goal kicker. He understands his brother Beauden's approach at 10. He has an eye for the try line and tops Super Rugby with 31 offloads, so creates for others. But in the unforgiving atmosphere of test rugby, against the Lions Test team, he's untested.

What became obvious in the second test, with Ben Smith out, is that the All Blacks work better with two fullbacks in their back three, instead of two wingers. Maybe Israel Dagg needed more help at the back, instead of being assisted by running wingers.

The All Blacks kick more than most teams, to gain territorial advantages and open up counter attacking opportunities. They call it shaping defences.  Extra kicking options and trained eyes at the back, create opportunities further forward.

So, if they needed another fullback, but you want experience, what other choices did they have?

They could have started Beauden Barrett at fullback and Aaron Cruden at ten. To call that the safe option is to understate the skills of the two players. They are experienced campaigners, suited to driving this team in the most important game they'll play before the next World Cup. They could have played either side of the ruck and done the job.

It's a combination that has clinched test matches in the last twenty minutes for some time. Maybe they don't want to move the World Player of the Year. Then again, Cruden hasn't lost in 25 starts for the All Blacks.

It's hardly a gamble.

2015 World Cup winner Nehe Milner-Shudder is an option that's been bypassed because he hasn't played much this season.

He's a fullback/winger, with good game management skills. An intelligent player like Milner-Skudder could have been schooled up quickly on their playbook. His ability to create tries from nothing could have been useful, considering the All Blacks barely fired a shot in Wellington.

The selectors obviously have questions over Damian McKenzie's tactical game. Ironically, his penchant for rolling the dice may have counted against him. McKenzie loves to have a crack with ball in hand. Many Chiefs fans would construct an argument he's been as good as Jordie Barrett this year.

He tops Super Rugby in defenders beaten and metres made. He also tops carries and is top ten in clean breaks, offloads and point scored. If they didn't want to use him, maybe Milner-Skudder could have come into the squad?

Jordie Barrett's time has come sooner than intended. Let's hope his time is now.

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Lions Tour 2017: How the All Blacks will win ...

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Brodie Retallick is perhaps the most versatile and skilled tight forward in the world. Photo / Brett Phibbs

A win for the ABs would be a beauty to behold, and that in itself is a tribute to the Lions and their coach in this series.

An indication of how seriously the All Blacks are taking this week of all weeks could be seen and heard in their final big press conference of the build-up.

On Thursday, the six players put before the media were respectfulness personified. They talked up their opposites, including Sean O'Brien's glowing tribute by opposite flanker Sam Cane, and talked down the ramifications should things not go to plan.

Should the All Blacks lose, added Cane, the sun will still come up on Sunday (although it might be obscured by dark clouds - metaphorical and literal).

Defeat is not an option, clearly, but coach Steve Hansen touched on it when he said win, lose, or draw, the All Blacks would learn something about themselves in this test.

It was a mellow, philosophical 25 minutes by Hansen which led, memorably, to Guardian journalist Rob Kitson comparing the head coach in his report to a Miss World finalist "calling for global oval-ball harmony".

To be fair to Hansen - throughout this series and indeed his time as All Blacks coach, the continued good health of the game has always been a priority of his, but don't be fooled, Hansen's every waking hour since last Sunday would have been given over to how he and his men can win at Eden Park and claim the series. He just doesn't want to give Warren Gatland or his players any motivational lifts in the process.

We have heard a lot recently about the clear (blue) thinking and emotional (red) thinking that the All Blacks switch between during tests, and obviously the former will be key against the Lions in this most significant of matches, but the latter will have its place too.

There must be controlled fury against the Lions. For whatever reason, the All Blacks were too passive against them in Wellington, as though they went from attacking the game to purely defending it once Sonny Bill Williams left the field after 25 minutes.

They were too narrow in terms of both width and ambition and that particular lesson would have been rammed home this week. Former great Sean Fitzpatrick claimed there were scuffles at training this week, denied by Hansen, but it would surprise if the forwards, in particular, didn't feel the need to exert their dominance after being made to look a little second rate by the men in red at Westpac Stadium.

Should the black forwards get on top with that improved attitude, which they should and in fact must, then the way for the backs should be made much easier.

With Ngani Laumape and Jordie Barrett starting their first tests, it's difficult to remember a more inexperienced All Blacks test backline. They are talented players both, as is Anton Lienert-Brown with only 12 tests to his name, but the pack must fight for every last metre in order to make it easier for them.

It won't be easy and nor should it be, but if the forwards front with the right attitude then the All Blacks should get across the line.

Key man - Brodie Retallick

Rugby is a simple game, really. Get the ball, go forward, score points. The All Blacks did that well at Eden Park in the first test, and not so well in the second one at Westpac Stadium, although they almost managed it despite playing with 14 men for 55 minutes.

In Brodie Retallick they have perhaps the most versatile and skilled tight forward in the world (although injured hooker Dane Coles might have something to say about that). In the first test he was everywhere, and clattering into everything, a one-man stampede but with sharp elbows and knees rather than horns.

The All Blacks need him to repeat that. They need him to use his intelligent running lines - charging into space and between players rather than at them. They need him to crib an extra metre or two when he is eventually brought to ground, and they need him to use his hands to flick the ball onwards or behind him as he can so well.

They need momentum when in possession in order to set their backs alight, and in Retallick they have the man who can provide it.

It's a tall order - and Maro Itoje and Alan Wyn Jones are good operators in their own right - but in Retallick the All Blacks have just the man.

... and why the tourists could

Top of the to-do list for the Lions is slowing the pace. When the All Blacks get a roll on, they are near impossible to stop.

The key to a Lions victory is cutting off the All Blacks at the source; making a mess of the breakdown and depriving the All Blacks of their desired quick, clean ruck ball.

Jonathan Davies may be the ideal player for the Lions to expose the relative inexperience of the All Black backline. Photo / Alan Gibson

Sean O'Brien, Alun Wyn Jones, Maro Itoje and Sam Warburton must be at their disruptive best but also careful not to give away as many penalties - cynical ones at that - as they did in the second test in Wellington.

Mako Vunipola needs to keep his head. The English prop gave away four penalties last week, and was lucky to escape with a yellow card for his shoulder to the head of Beauden Barrett in an attempted cleanout. That act alone threatened to completely derail the Lions at the Westpac Stadium. Vunipola is a potential liability.

If the Lions control the tempo, that should allow them to shut down Barrett's time and space at first-five.

Barrett doesn't have Ryan Crotty or Sonny Bill Williams outside him. Such players bring experience and voice, and in a match of this magnitude, all players need help.

The Lions need to put the squeeze on Barrett and pressure the inexperienced combinations outside him. Ngani Laumape and Jordie Barrett are both quality players but, with both starting their first tests, nerves won't be far from the surface. If things don't go well, they don't have the same big game experience to draw on as others.

Conor Murray, Jonathan Sexton and Owen Farrell will pepper the All Blacks backfield, testing out Julian Savea in particular.

The Lions are experts at contesting these kicks but their chase line also needs to be solid to limit counter-attacking chances, forcing the All Blacks back three to either kick the ball back or risk being isolated. One chink in the line is all the All Blacks will need.

Aggression in the collisions goes without saying but the Lions did not impose themselves physically in the opening test.

They were exposed up the guts. They lifted there last week, but will need to go up another notch or three in this aspect.

Rolling mauls and box kicks won't be enough to beat the All Blacks and claim the series. Not at Eden Park.

When it is on, the Lions must have a crack. In Liam Williams and Anthony Watson, they have players capable of breaking the game open. Taking chances has not been a strength of the Lions on this tour but they must grab every single one to match their team of 1971.

Sexton and Farrell showed last week, albeit with a one-man advantage, the danger they pose. They will again mix up their touches from first receiver and throw in wrap-arounds to create space on the outside.

Variety is the key. Changing pictures keeps the defence guessing and it was here Laumape and Anton Lienert-Brown were exposed on occasion last week.

The Lions must play for 80-plus minutes. From Johannesburg to Sydney to Dublin, time and again the All Blacks have escaped from the dead.

The last thing the Lions want is to be on the plane home ruing a last-gasp penalty or try that robbed them of leaving a legacy.

Key man - Jonathan Davies

Under-rated and unassuming, the technically and tactically astute Welsh centre is a classy operator. He runs quality lines and regularly breaks the line. Up against an inexperienced midfield combination of Ngani Laumape and Anton Lienert-Brown, Davies has probably never been more of a threat, particularly with his outside break.

Jonathan Sexton and Owen Farrell should have enough subtleties in their game to create openings for their midfield partner. Davies will also need to be a defensive rock. Julian Savea and Laumape will be sent charging into channels around him all evening long, so he may be called upon to make scrambling tackles.

Davies is no stranger to the big occasion. Four years ago, he found himself at the centre of an uproar after Warren Gatland selected him over Brian O'Driscoll for the decisive third test in Australia. It proved the right decision, and he now gets a chance to add a second Lions series triumph.

Lastly, don't switch off. Aaron Smith will snipe and look for quick taps to catch the Lions napping. It worked a treat in the opening test, with hooker Codie Taylor scoring in the corner.

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Beauden Barrett and his All Blacks team-mates show the pain of defeat as they leave the pitch and the Lions celebrate behind them in Wellington.

All Blacks defeats are so rare they make it their duty to learn from them

Andy Bull

T wenty-three All Blacks woke with the strangest feelings on Sunday morning. It was not their aching bodies, the sprains, strains, and bruises, stiff shoulders, throbbing legs, sore chests – all that was familiar enough. They expect nothing less after a Test. But another, more novel, sensation, altogether more painful. Defeat .

Their captain, Kieran Read, is about to play his 100th game. In the past 99, he has experienced this 11 times. His mate Sam Whitelock, who has won more caps at lock than any other All Black, has lost seven. Beauden Barrett, who just won his 50th cap, four. On Sunday we asked their loosehead prop Wyatt Crockett how many Tests he had lost. “Two,” he said, quick as a shot. Crockett has played 61 games.

Steve Hansen, who sometimes comes across like a particularly lugubrious bloodhound, managed to find the bright side. “Nice to see the sun’s up,” he said. Time was when some of his countrymen used to think an All Blacks defeat meant it would never rise again. After the 1999 World Cup, the head coach John Hart was spat at when he went out in public. Things are a little different now. “We’ve had a little bit of success since,” Hansen said, in his understated way. “Our fans are a little bit more accepting of when things don’t go right.” They saw the team “give it everything they had”, he said. “It’s when you lose and you feel like people haven’t turned up is when people get frustrated. Our guys turned up, they just didn’t get the job done.”

Strange to say, but some of the locals almost seem happy about what happened. Winning everything wears thin. And the New Zealanders know how much this victory means to the Lions, who seem to live with the perpetual threat that each tour might be their last, and to their fans, who have paid thousands of pounds to come and cheer them on.

Hansen touched on this too. “Competition is good for everyone because it forces everyone to have to improve,” he said. “If we want to see our game continue to grow, to foster the things that it does in the way of camaraderie, to teach us lessons about life, good and bad, we have got to keep encouraging our game to be strong.”

Hansen has been a different man these past few days. It is as if the New Zealand Herald’s ridiculous illustration of Warren Gatland dressed as a clown snapped him out of the mindset he had been in after the first Test, when he and Gatland busied themselves exchanging barbs in the press. Hansen is showing the best of himself now.

“Rugby has been needing something like this for a while,” he said. “It’s moments like this that go down in history and excite young people to say: ‘Hey, I want to be part of this,’ not only as a player, but also as a fan.” Now the series could go either way, “and how exciting is that?”

The other upside of losing, of course, is that it gives the All Blacks the opportunity to win a bigger game on Saturday. That is what Hansen is thinking about now. “The big thing about when you lose is that it’s painful, isn’t it?” he said. “It sharpens the mind, it sharpens the attitude. You look at things probably a little deeper than you normally do. We try to learn when we win, but in this case we had a side that beat us because on the day they were a little better than us. We have to acknowledge that and then go: ‘OK, how can we be better than them?’ We’ll do that through the week, do our best to stay 15 on 15 and then see if we can get some strategies going.”

Whatever strategies they do come up with they will not involve Sonny Bill Williams, who has been suspended for four weeks . “He’s disappointed because he let the team down,” Hansen said. “One of our biggest mantras is the team comes first and he knows he’s let the team down, but we can’t go back and change it. People make mistakes. It’s a fluid game, a fast game and a physical game. Unfortunately he’s made a mistake and we’ve got to move on from it. Sonny’s paid a big price and the team’s paid a big price for him making a mistake and we have to wear the decision. That’s just the way it goes.” They have called up Malakai Fekitoa as cover.

As for the rest of them, Crockett reckoned they should take “five, 10 minutes in the shed” to dwell on the defeat a little bit, “then start thinking about next week”. His fellow prop Joe Moody was a little less forgiving. “I definitely soaked up the defeat a bit last night, embraced that shit feeling,” he said. “I’ll use that for the week ahead going into this Saturday.” Which is exactly what Hansen wants. “It’s the first time I’ve had to come in and sit in here like this for a while,” he said. “We haven’t done it a lot and people have got carried away, saying the All Blacks are this and the All Blacks are that. Sometimes we brush over the cracks that are there. When you lose, the cracks get exposed.”

Put another way, the Lions did not kill the All Blacks, they made them stronger.

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All Blacks outmuscle Lions, but sensational try cheers tourists

World champions take a 1-0 lead but a spirited Lions display leaves both sides with food for thought

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Liam Williams, New Zealand vs Lions

New Zealand 30 Lions 15

The All Blacks overpowered a spirited Lions team in the first Test of the tour in Auckland, and eventually ran out comfortable winners in a match that simmered nicely but never quite came to the boil.

Lions team to face New Zealand: Gatland makes correct calls Lions must rely on the bludgeon against All Black swordsmen All Blacks squad: Key players who could destroy the Lions

As they have so many times before New Zealand broke their opponents' will in the second half, but for the first hour the game was nip and tuck with the tourists' defence shackling the usually free-flowing Kiwis.

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Unexpectedly, it was the All Black forwards rather than the quicksilver backs who tipped the balance and despite two tries for winger Reiko Ioane the game was won in the tight. Indeed for much of the game New Zealand were surprisingly conservative.

After a rousing Haka, the Lions almost got off to the perfect start with a line break from Jonathan Davies who fed Elliot Daly, but the winger was held up over the line.

New Zealand then took the lead through a Beauden Barrett penalty and went further ahead with the first try of the game. The Lions switched off at a penalty and scrum half Aaron Smith went quickly, flinging the ball wide. Hooker Codie Taylor popped up on the wing and plucked a poor pass from his shoelaces to score.

The sides traded penalties to make it 13-3 to the All Blacks before a moment of magic that will go down in Lions folklore as the tourists went the length of the field to score a try that New Zealand themselves would have been proud of.

Full back Liam Williams was the architect, taking a pass from Anthony Watson in his own 22, and brilliantly sidestepping Kieran Reid before beating two more men in a break to the halfway line. He then offloaded to Davies who in turn fed Daly. The England winger passed back to Davies who was tackled short of the line but popped the ball up to Sean O'Brien to touch down.

It was a thrilling passage of play that defined a high quality first half which ended 13-8 to the All Blacks.

The second half was a tense affair, and the Lions may regret kicking to the corner after being awarded a penalty. They failed to capitalise, and the gap remained at five points.

But as the half wore on the All Blacks gradually asserted more control, particularly at the breakdown. They scored the killer try when Read produced a sensational offload and the backs sprung into life and Ioane made it to the line.

Another penalty made it 23-8 leaving the Lions needing three scores. But it was the hosts who struck again when Liam Williams failed to collect a high kick and it fell to Ioane who outpaced both Daly and Watson to the line.

The tourists were now beaten but refused to capitulate as many teams do against the mighty All Blacks, and scrum-half Rhys Webb sniped through for a consolation score on the stroke of full time.

The scoreline may be chastening, but the tourists can take heart from their first half display, when they went toe-to-toe with the world champions. Among several others there was a notable performance from Ben Te'o, who nullified danger man Sonny Bill Williams, and it was not until the England centre went off that the All Black back line came to life.

Coach Warren Gatland has some issues to consider, however. Alun-Wyn Jones was subdued in the second row and was replaced early in the second period by Maro Itoje, while the dominance of the All Black pack was unsettling.

Key players also faded in the second half under the sheer weight of the defensive work they were forced to undertake.

He has a week to address those issues before the second Test in Wellington.

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British and Irish Lions 2017: All Blacks deserved victory but that doesn't make tourists any less special

The lions clung on to draw the third test and the series, but they have still achieved something remarkable that should be applauded, article bookmarked.

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Sam Warburton led his British and Irish Lions squad on a lap of honour after the third Test

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The majority of rugby test series are made up of three matches in order to ensure there is little chance of a draw, yet when that happened between the British and Irish Lions and the All Blacks, there was no stopping the feeling of being left at a loss for words.

There were no celebrations, no joy, as the two sets of players looked at each other and asked “what next?” The 48,609 fans around them did the same, hoping for an unknown law to trigger a period of extra-time, but it wasn’t to be.

Instead, the Lions series was drawn for just the second time in its history – a first against New Zealand – and both Kieran Read and Sam Warburton lifted the trophy together, no matter how much they were frustrated with the defeat.

All Blacks vs British and Irish Lions third Test player ratings

There are some who will argue that the draw is fair, that there was no splitting the two teams and that given how equal they are, it’s no surprise that they have come out of the three Tests on level terms. However, that simply isn’t true.

This series deserved a winner and in truth, it should have been the All Blacks. That they spurned four tries in the final Test – three of which could have come in a smash-and-grab first half that could have blown the Lions away – was a damning assessment of how many points the reigning world champions left out on the field at Eden Park.

Lions draw series with All Blacks after pulsating decider ends 15-15

Julian Savea should have caught the ball in the fifth minute with the line at his mercy, both Beauden Barrett and Ngani Laumape were guilty of dropping the ball as they hit the line in the danger zone and Jordie Barrett could only hurl the ball forward to Savea when he had no one between him and the try line.

The All Blacks left at least 20 points out there, possibly 28, and then there is the issue with Beauden Barrett’s goalkicking. He may be the reigning World Rugby Player of the Year, but his kicking is someway short of what is required at Test level. The Lions have two prolific goalkickers in Owen Farrell and Leigh Halfpenny, the former landing two big-pressure kicks during the third Test and the latter not missing a kick at goal during the entire tour.

Beauden Barrett must improve his goalkicking at Test level

No one would criticise Barrett’s contribution to this series. The way he can use the ball to unlock the most stubborn of defences is simply mesmerising, but there is no looking beyond the fact that his inaccuracy has cost the All Blacks a series victory. He missed three penalties in the second Test that would have clinched the series with a game to spare, and he missed another five points here that showed he still has plenty to learn if he is to reach the same levels as predecessor Dan Carter.

Gatland open to 2021 Lions tour after 'frustrating' end to third Test

Then there is the series-deciding moment. No one enjoys talking about referees, especially in such important games. Yet when Romain Poite awarded the All Blacks a penalty with 90 seconds left to play, the Frenchman appeared to break Lions’ fans hearts both in New Zealand and 12,000 miles away back home. The restart was not gathered by Liam Williams, the ball fell forwards and into the hands of Ken Owens and the hooker immediately held his hands up protesting innocence. He knew he was guilty.

But something changed Poite’s mind. After reviewing the challenge from Read on Williams that dislodged the ball and deciding it was legal, Poite suddenly awarded a scrum. His explanation was that the offside was accidental, but World Rugby laws state that any deliberate play at the ball should result in a penalty. With 90 seconds on the clock and the mark in easy kicking range, even Barrett would be backed to get the penalty and win the match for the home side.

Error-strewn finale and draw couldn't detract from epic Lions series

But they didn’t win, and this is the important bit. This Lions squad should be remembered for all the right reasons. They have come together over six weeks to form a side capable of challenging the best in the world. They had to overcome a ridiculous tour schedule that put them at an immediate disadvantage due to jet lag and a lack of preparation, and they have had to deal with constant swipes on the Kiwi media has thrown into question the integrity of a certain newspaper here that wants to be a cheerleader for the All Blacks rather than offer fair reporting.

There is a reason why only one Lions squad has ever left New Zealand with a series victory in the bag. That was the 1971 tourists and boy, weren’t they special. In their own way, so are the Class of 2017. For the first two Tests they took the All Blacks Harlem Globetrotters style and turned it against them, scoring the better tries and playing an expansive rugby that is a rare sight in the Northern Hemispere.

That they could not produce the same for the third Test is a shame, but they still displayed the grit, resolve and sheer bravery to refuse to accept defeat. This has been a series to remember and, thankfully, one that will be remembered for the right reasons. If rugby’s elite table needed any help in understanding why the Lions must survive, they’ve received everything they need over the last six months to prove just why this tour is so special.

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Lions fans snap up Australia tour packages in record numbers

Fan-less tour of South Africa has driven unprecedented demand as fans fan flock to see Lions in person for first time since 2017

British and Irish Lions fans during the third test of the 2017 British and Irish Lions tour at Eden Park

Interest in the British and Irish Lions tour of Australia next year has already broken all records, with over 10,000 official travel packages already purchased by supporters just four months after going on sale.

That figure already exceeds the highest number of packages sold for any previous tour despite there still being over a year to go until Andy Farrell’s squad depart for the nine-game tour of Australia. It is more than double the amount of people who travelled to Australia for the tour in 2013.

Lions’ officials have also revealed that demand for the pre-tour game against Argentina in Dublin has also been unprecedented. The number of supporters entering the ballot for tickets suggests that they could have sold out the Aviva Stadium – which has a capacity of 51,700 – over five times, given the level of interest.

There have also been over 100 million video views on Lions social media channels this year – a figure already higher than for the entire 2021 tour of South Africa, when global pandemic restrictions meant the games had to be played behind closed doors.

Pent up demand has led to the explosion of interest in next year’s tour, according to Shane Whelan, the Lions director of digital, marketing and communications, who revealed that one video clip of a cloud of steam emanating from a scrum when the Lions faced the Maori All Blacks on the 2017 tour had been played over 45 million times.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by The British & Irish Lions (@britishandirishlions)

Whelan said the Lions scrum video has more views than any video posted by the NFL account on Instagram during this year’s Super Bowl, including the kiss between Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift, and also has surpassed the numbers for former Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp’s recent farewells to fans. Significantly, over 50 per cent of supporters on the official Lions social audience are now aged 18-34.

“Our digital platforms enable us to connect with our global fan base of some 14 million in innovative ways and this is really important to the Lions,” Whelan told Telegraph Sport. “Ahead of what’s set to be a record-breaking tour in 2025 the appeal and anticipation is reflected in the digital engagement across our various platforms, and the huge demand we’re seeing from fans including for the pre-tour fixture in Dublin.

“Following the absence of fans at the Covid-impacted 2021 tour we are excited to see this enthusiasm translate into a sea of red in Australia, supported by those watching around the world in little over a year.

“The challenge from a Lions perspective is that we traditionally have a four-year cycle between Tours and so we must rely heavily on archive moments to keep fans engaged between each Series on social media.”

The interest comes despite concerns that Australia, who failed to get out of their pool at the Rugby World Cup in France last year, will not offer the same level of competition as the previous tours against the Springboks and the All Blacks.

British & Irish Lions fans in good voice during the Taranaki v Lions rugby match. Their counterparts back home in Britain are expected to down two million extra pints before, during and after the first test match against the New Zealand All Blacks at 8.10am (BST), Saturday June 25, 2005

The financial collapse of the Melbourne Rebels, who were due to play against the Lions between the first and second Tests against the Wallabies, has also forced Rugby Australia to consider alternative opposition such as Super Rugby Pacific side Moana Pasifika.

Yet with Joe Schmidt, the former Ireland head coach, now tasked with rebuilding the Wallabies following the departure of Eddie Jones, there is an expectation that the number of Lions supporters travelling is likely to surge over the next 12 months, with expats from the four Home Unions in Australia also sourcing thousands of tickets.

“The results of the videos have certainly been fantastic, and we’re thrilled to be connecting with a younger audience a year away from the tour,” added Whelan. “But the key thing for us is how we can use those incredible numbers to get a more meaningful understanding of our fans and ensure we are converting the millions who follow us on social media into passionate supporters.”

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  9. British and Irish Lions 2017: 46 years of All Blacks domination ramps

    British and Irish Lions 2017: 46 years of All Blacks domination ramps up the pressure on Warren Gatland's side. There is no bigger series than when the Lions touch down in New Zealand, and this ...

  10. Lions tour: Live updates

    Could the All Blacks survive an hour with 14 men? Relive all the excitement of the second Test. ... Lions tour: Live updates - All Blacks vs British and Irish Lions - Second Test 01/07/2017 ...

  11. Lions vs All Blacks: Series shared after epic 15-15 draw

    After the Lions' 30-15 defeat in the series-opener a fortnight ago, the tourists drifted out to 5/1 with some bookies to win in Wellington. The Test team had been building steadily over the trip ...

  12. All Blacks unveil 33-man squad to face the Lions

    Steve Hansen, Ian Foster and Grant Fox have unveiled the 33-man All Blacks squad to take on The British & Irish Lions in the 2017 Test series. [more] Two uncapped players have been named in the squad captained by Kieran Read in Hurricanes duo Jordie Barrett and Ngani Laumape. Barrett joins his two brothers Beauden and Scott in the squad - the ...

  13. Hansen releases All Blacks for start of Lions Tour

    The British & Irish Lions will get an early look at some of their All Black opponents after Steve Hansen confirmed a number of them will be available for their Super Rugby sides at the start of the 2017 Tour. Warren Gatland's Lions will take on all five Kiwi franchises this summer during their six-week trip to New Zealand.

  14. Lions tour: Live updates

    Lions tour: Live updates - All Blacks vs British and Irish Lions - Third Test ... All Black 30, Lions 7, drawn 3 ... Lions 24 def All Blacks 21, July 1 2017. Last time at Eden Park: All Blacks 30 ...

  15. Lions Tour 2017: How the All Blacks will win ...

    Lions Tour 2017: How the All Blacks will win ... By: Liam Napier and Patrick McKendry. 7 Jul, 2017 05:00 PM 8 mins to read. ... Should the black forwards get on top with that improved attitude ...

  16. All Blacks vs Lions: Honours even as epic final Test ends in a draw

    Tourists cling on against the world champions in another nerve-shredding encounter as the series ends 1-1

  17. All Blacks defeats are so rare they make it their duty to learn from

    Sportblog Lions tour 2017. ... His mate Sam Whitelock, who has won more caps at lock than any other All Black, has lost seven. Beauden Barrett, who just won his 50th cap, four. On Sunday we asked ...

  18. British and Irish Lions 2017: All Blacks teach tourists a lesson in why

    The feeling at the end of 80 gruelling minutes was that the British and Irish Lions had their chance to knock New Zealand onto the ropes, and paid the price for wasting their chances like a ...

  19. Analysis: The All Blacks' game plan for the 2017 British & Irish Lions

    The 2017 All Blacks came into the Lions tour with the bulk of their 2015-World Cup winners - Jerome Kaino, Aaron Smith, Kieran Read, and Sonny Bill Williams to name a few. ADVERTISEMENT The newest star was Beauden Barrett , at the peak of his powers after his 2016 season, which saw him take over the All Black 10 jersey and win the World ...

  20. All Blacks outmuscle Lions, but sensational try cheers tourists

    World champions take a 1-0 lead but a spirited Lions display leaves both sides with food for thought

  21. British and Irish Lions 2017: All Blacks deserved victory but that

    Yet when Romain Poite awarded the All Blacks a penalty with 90 seconds left to play, the Frenchman appeared to break Lions' fans hearts both in New Zealand and 12,000 miles away back home.

  22. HIGHLIGHTS: All Blacks v British & Irish Lions Third Test

    The All Blacks and The British & Irish Lions end the Series in a tie with a tense third Test draw at Eden Park.Go to for more coverage and ...

  23. Lions fans snap up Australia tour packages in record numbers

    1. The Lions are famed for their travelling support Credit: PA/David Davies. Interest in the British and Irish Lions tour of Australia next year has already broken all records, with over 10,000 ...