Hansen: Lions 'training behind closed doors, not showing us too much'

Rippa rugby world cup The Rippa Rugby World Cup is on today

Rippa rugby world cup The Rippa Rugby World Cup is on today

Farrell was a certainty to start the series opener at Eden Park but Warren Gatland will have to consider reshaping his line-up behind the scrum - and keep everything crossed that Jonny Sexton comes through the Maori game unscathed. Wales playmaker Dan Biggar was added to the bench.

There was no comment on Farrell's chances of being fit for the first Test.

"Sam [Warburton] is well aware of the competition that is there at the moment".

Gatland explained it by saying: "We wanted to make a few changes, but reward a significant part of that team that played that beat the Crusaders".

"Growing up, the Munster back-rowers even when I was playing - Wally (David Wallace) and Axel (Anthony Foley) had a huge influence on my career as well".

"What we need is another step forward in our performance level", Borthwick said.

With Billy Vunipola ruled out before the tour left Britain, losing another lynchpin in Farrell would be a awful blow to the Lions' prospects.

The stadium, which also hosted the Lions' official welcome the last time they visited New Zealand 12 years ago, hosted four matches at the 2011 Rugby World Cup and has also been the venue for four rugby league Test matches.

"Whilst the Lions is a dance that is happening in the background and we're watching that with interest of course, the responsibility to the jersey and those who have been before us means that we go out and take this test match seriously and respect Samoan rugby for what it is", Hansen told reporters.

Gatland was able to hand all 41 players in his squad a starting berth across the opening three matches of the 10-clash tour.

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He is, in other words, flawless for coach Warren Gatland's game-plan of putting the opposition in a vice and squeezing until the mistakes come.

"I didn't think I was going to get picked for the Lions".

"You've got to do it justice not just for yourself but for everyone".

"One of the reasons we selected him as captain of the squad is that he is an absolute quality player but also, this tour isn't about Sam it's about putting the squad first".

"This will give us an indication of where we are at because it is important to build momentum going in to June-July internationals". And that's why we've gone with a lot of the combinations from last Saturday.

"The week leading up to the Crusaders game was good and we have another crack of the whip on Saturday", said Davies.

"But on the flip side when you're here now and getting ready for these games and coming up against such great opposition there's no time to be looking around and thinking 'how good's this?'".

"This is my first tour and I still don't really know how a lot of things work", said Te'o, who was born in Auckland.

Beauden Barrett will play his 50th test for the All Blacks tomorrow night. But I don't care where I play.

"This is my third game I have been involved in and this is my opportunity". They can shuffle the pack and still play some very strong cards.

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