Wednesday 17 January 2018

Lions do not need extra motivation for third Test says Rob Howley

Rob Howley insists the Lions do not need any motivation at Eden Park
Rob Howley insists the Lions do not need any motivation at Eden Park

The British and Irish Lions have the "glint" of victory in their eyes and need no inspiration from elder statesmen for Saturday's Test series decider with New Zealand, according to Rob Howley.

The Lions drafted in Brian O'Driscoll to conduct the jersey presentation ahead of the first Test against New Zealand, that the tourists then lost 30-15.

Head coach Warren Gatland opted against a formal presentation for the second Test, where the Lions prevailed 24-21 in Wellington last weekend.

Now Gatland's men are itching to register a first series win in New Zealand since 1971, and Howley insisted they are so focused on the task as not to need external motivation.

Confirming Gatland has no plans to draft in a distinguished former Lion to present the third Test jerseys, Howley said: "The players play the game it's their game.

"There's no plans for that at this moment in time, no.

"The one thing Warren Gatland has challenged us as coaches to do is to challenge the players, to use their experience and their talent, and to try to get the best out of that.

"We feel we've done that over the last couple of weeks.

"Don't get me wrong it's been a tough challenge. But we think we're getting there.

"We can get better and we need to improve on the weekend."

Backs coach Howley believes the Lions players have held onto the elation of their slender second Test victory all week, and are not about to let the chance to make history pass in Auckland this weekend.

The tourists must end New Zealand's staggering 39-match unbeaten run at their Eden Park stronghold, and also inflict the All Blacks' first series defeat at home since 1986.

"I hope there will not be much left to be said," said Howley, referring to the last few hours' preparations on Saturday night.

"You can see a glint in the players' eyes today in training.

"Warby (Sam Warburton) got them in a circle afterwards.

"There's been a glint in the players' eyes since Saturday night in Wellington, and that glint hasn't gone away.

"Because they know they can create history. And that's the challenge, and the realisation of where we are at this moment in time."

Press Association

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