Sunday 26 January 2020

BOD: Lions need to hit the ground running

Brian O'Driscoll has stressed the importance of a winning start to the 2013 Lions Tour when they enter the unknown against the Barbarians tomorrow.

The Leinster and Ireland star is wary of the threat a Sergio Parrisse-led Babas pose but is adamant that Warren Gatland's charges must put down a marker in their opening game in Hong Kong.

"It's hard to do any analysis on the Barbarians. We did make reference to the point that we want to start as we mean to go on," he said.

"We don't really have the luxury of feeling our way into the tour.

"There are six games an  all of a sudden you have the first test and we have got to hit the ground running and start with a good performance this weekend."

The main headline maker since the team's arrival in Hong Kong on Tuesday has been the punishing weather.

Such is the level of concern over the conditions that there will two water breaks during the game.

"It's incredibly humid. I don't think it's the heat, it's the humidity. We trained at half two and someone said it peaked at 35 degrees," he added.

"We had these ice-vests put on to help us cool down after a long session, we had fans spitting out water at us.

"When we were breaking between units and sections of the training we were standing in front of these and there wasn't much chat going on."

No stone is being left unturned by the Lions as they bid for their first series win since 1997 and Bod has revealed the incredible attention to detail that the team and coaching staff are going into.

"Even over the last 12 year since the first tour I went on in 2001, it was professional then but not at the level it's at now. Every 'i' is dotted and every 't' crossed.

"The level of detail on the pitch and the level of analysis on it. We go into the analysis room and there is always five or six people in there working," he added.

"All training sessions are videod so there is an incredible amount of detail.

"Sometimes it's hard to go from all your calls at provincial level  that we were working on till Saturday night and now you have to forget all them for the next six and a half weeks and you have got to work towards Lions calls."

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