Fitzpatrick backs Lions
New Zealand great Sean Fitzpatrick has entered the debate over the future of the Lions by claiming their tours should be expanded, not abandoned.
It is 12 years since the Lions won a series, with their recent victory over South Africa in the final Test ending a credibility-damaging run of seven successive defeats.
Fitzpatrick, who won three of his 92 caps when he led the All Blacks to victory against the Lions in 1993, believes they remain a major force.
"The Lions are probably the most powerful brand in world rugby. Without question they have a future," said Fitzpatrick.
"Winning that third Test against South Africa was paramount but even had they lost they'd still be a viable brand.
"You ask anyone who has played against the Lions and they'll tell you they're one of the greatest teams to play against."