British and Irish Lions' tours to remember

The first golden era of the Lions began in 1971 when a rugged pack and a brilliant backline, mostly Welsh, bettered New Zealand 2-1 under the guidance of Carwyn James.

They will need their forward pack to be at full strength if they're to win back to back titles, but are on the verge of two try scoring records, needing just three more to eclipse the 81 scored previous year by the Lions.

Such is the crossflow of nationalities in world rugby, it is hardly surprising that a former All Black, Warren Gatland, should be masterminding the British and Irish Lions tour to New Zealand.

Hansen acknowledges that they have a number of world class goal kickers, but doesn't believe the All Blacks will be at a disadvantage and isn't concerned that Beauden Barrett isn't the main goalkicker at the Hurricanes.

The world champions have since taken on all comers, proving to be simply too good for their rivals and firmly establishing themselves as the best side on the planet.

It was a similar story away from the Tests three years later, losing three times to South Africa, but winning 15 other games, and in 1983 a four-match Test series whitewash was the miserable return from another trip to All Black country. I don't think I've earned the right to speak to the Lions yet as a group.' He got it. And we've got some very talented attacking players.

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"You've got to keep the pressure on, you've got to exert pressure in areas that they don't like, which is traditionally the close set-piece play but then have the ability when you create opportunities, to turn that into points".

The trouble for the Lions second team is that the so-called "warm-up" games, with the exception of the first game against the NZ Provincial Barbarians, will have the physical intensity of Test matches.

"I am very happy with where we got to at the end of 2016", said Hansen.

"The great thing about rugby is there is more than one way to win a game".

The New Zealander was the Forwards Coach in 2009, when McGeechan coached the team for the final time. Woodward's Lions were also beaten by the New Zealand Maori and there was precious little to enthuse about off the field either as a dark cloud of under-achievement rarely lifted.

"I'm grateful for the support of the rugby department in getting this out, and the support of my Kiwi colleague Tim Dale who made the programme with me".

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The 2017 Lions team travelled to New Zealand on Monday.

"If the Lions come through the first five games, they will be really Test match-ready and fit".

The Invincibles won 21 of 22 matches, only drawing the fourth Test with the series already in the bag.

All Blacks fullback Don Clarke kicked a then record six penalties in the 18-17 first test victory.

Whatever the southern hemisphere shortcomings though, the Lions can always be relied upon to produce just enough stirring series wins to maintain the tourists' mystique.

"The challenge is going to be huge in the Test series and there will be no greater one in our careers".

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The series could be decided or still in the air if locked at 1-1 entering the finale at Eden Park.

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