O'Mahony would make 'rugged' Lions captain, says All Blacks' Cane

Posted June 20, 2017

Asked if it is possible that the Lions could repeat that defensive shut-out against New Zealand, Farrell replied: "Of course it is because it's not just about defence; it's about the whole game coming together".

O'Mahony captained the side during Saturday's win over the New Zealand Maoris and impressed with his leadership skills and communication with referee Jaco Peyper, who will take charge of Saturday's encounter.

"We don't care what goes on or what has been said".

The Chiefs have at least 11 players out of this one, either in the All Blacks squad or not able to back up from the Maori game. There's a correlation of what has to happen when the ball leaves the ground.

O'Mahony, who earned his spot on tour after putting in a barn-storming performance against England in the final game of the Siz Nations after being a late injury replacement, was backed to take the captaincy by Lions defense coach Andy Farrell, giving the strongest indication yet that the Cork man, who missed a year through injury, will complete a remarkable turn around and lead the Lions out against the All Blacks.

Meanwhile, Foster said there has been no contact training for the injured Dane Coles this week, further diminishing any hope he may have held of being fit to face the Lions. "When you go into a big occasion like this, there's always a bit of an edge to it".

"That's made it hard".

But All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster delivered an upbeat fitness bulletin when he spoke to reporters in Auckland on Tuesday.

Hansen has been firing barbs of his own in the lead-up to the Test, accusing Gatland of having only one style of play and claiming inside knowledge of the Lions reinforcements.

The British and Irish Lions v Chiefs is live on talkSPORT 2, kicking off 8:35am United Kingdom time on Tuesday June 20 2017.

However, veteran All Blacks flanker Jerome Kaino would welcome the return of Read to help combat what he believes will be a world class Lions loose trio.

But Gatland said his absence was precautionary and the Englishman was ready to play.

Coach Dave Rennie says the Chiefs intend to stick to the high speed, open game they've used successfully in their Super 12 season.

"I'd be more than comfortable [with that]" Farrell said. "I wouldn't want to put my house on (the result)".

"I think it is fantastic for everyone on the outside, but players don't feel it or aren't aware of it".

The Lions still can't seem to figure out how to score after a line break.

But Farrell insisted the Lions are completely happy with the refereeing teams appointed for the Test series.