New Zealand has criticised Lions coach Warren Gatland for letting the squad unwind and let their hair down ahead of Saturday’s series decider.
Whilst the All Blacks were putting in their usual work in Auckland, the Lions experiemented with some extreme sports. Jack Nowell and Taulupe Faletau, who are both likely to be involved in the Third Test, completed the highest bungee jump in New Zealand over the Nevis, whilst other squadmates were off-roading in 4x4s or taking a helicopter trip over the Remarkables range. Even captain Sam Warburton was getting his adrenaline pumping, jetboating though narrow canyons at 50mph.
All Blacks flanker Jerome Kaino said “If that’s what they think gets the best out of their players, then good on them. For us we’ve got a lot of improvements we want to make so we’re worried about what we want to do”, perhaps suggesting disapproval at the unorthodox run-up method.
It may come with criticism from the All Blacks, but this recipe of unwinding before the match has worked for Gatland before, four years ago in Noosa ahead of the decider against the Wallabies. “We all agreed it was still best for the team. The tour’s been very arduous for the boys. They haven’t had any proper days off, so it’s great to have the boys refreshed” said Paul Stridgeon, Lions’ head of strength and conditioning.
I guess we’ll just have to wait and see if it pays off!
Looking for somewhere to watch all the action? Head to Churchill’s Sports Bar to catch all the Lions Tour games on their big screens this June and early July!
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