Gatland urges Lions to embrace pressure


Warren Gatland and his 2017 Lions are on the verge of sporting immortality – and he wants his side to embrace that pressure in the third and final Test on Saturday against the All Blacks.

Gatland named an unchanged 23 for the decider at Eden Park – the first time since 1993 that the Lions have been unchanged in a Test match following their victory in Wellington last weekend.

The head coach faced the press on Thursday and said it was an easy decision to give the same 23 an opportunity to make history.

And the challenge has been laid down for the side – after what Gatland described as a ‘tasty’ training session on Thursday morning – to go and grab their place in the history books as the first tourists to win in New Zealand since 1971.

“For a group of players, there is no doubt – we haven’t spoken about it yet but maybe we will in the next 24 hours – they have an opportunity to leave a bit of a legacy,” he told the British and Irish Lions’ official website.

“This is an opportunity that we haven’t had since 1971, I think there have been 11 tours to New Zealand and the Lions have only won one.

“You get those moments in your life and you don’t want those moments to pass you by, that is what big occasions and big sporting events are about.

“I have no doubt that, not today, but tomorrow and Saturday the players will start thinking about it and that will build slowly over the next 48 hours to the match as it starts to get closer and the players start to realise what potentially could happen and what a special moment winning a series in New Zealand could be.

“You have got to be excited, it is a pressure that you relish. This is what you do all the training, you want those moments and sometimes they don’t come around that often.

“We have got another level in us and that is kind of exciting, the players feel like if we click, then we can do something pretty special.”

source: planet rugby

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