Barrett expects little flair from Lions

Sat, 15 Apr 2017 11:15
Large aaron cruden and beauden barrett 800

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: New Zealand's World Player of the Year Beauden Barrett is expecting the British and Irish Lions Test Series to be a grinding defensive and tactical battle. 

The 25-year-old, who has filled the enormous vacuum left by legend Dan Carter at flyhalf with aplomb since impressing in the 3-0 Test series whitewash of Wales last year, told the Daily Telegraph that he expected the Lions to play in the same effective manner Kiwi Joe Schmidt has drilled into Ireland.

Barrett knows Ireland well, quite apart from spending some of his childhood in the country as his father went to manage a farm there, having been on the receiving end of a historic defeat last year in Chicago before gaining revenge in a no holds barred Test in Dublin in November.

The Lions, whose head coach New Zealander Warren Gatland will name his squad on Wednesday, will be bidding to emulate the 1971 team who beat the All Blacks in their own backyard.    

"I remember them [the Lions] being over in 2005 and, having experienced northern hemisphere rugby of late, it's going to be huge. We've learned a lot about our game, so perhaps we'll adapt better when they arrive.

"It's certainly different to Super Rugby and the general way we play down south. It's very forward and set-piece-orientated. It's often a defensive, tactical game. I wouldn't say it's hugely free-flowing.

"It's real Test match footy. It's applying pressure. It's hard to explain actually, but it's how you've seen Ireland play in particular," said Barrett, whose younger brother - second row forward Scott - could well line-up with him.

Barrett, who turned down the opportunity to play in the Sevens tournament at the 2016 Olympics to focus on making the flyhalf spot his own, said it would be futile to try and please the crowd if the formula they have adopted during the Test series is working.

"For me, It's about getting the balance right. If it's on to kick 10 times out of 10, you keep doing it. You don't stop to think 'we're doing this too much'. You hammer it home. You've got to get the ball into space, and there are many different ways of doing that," he added.

However, Barrett is keen to make the point that All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen is not a one trick pony when it comes to tactics.

"The great thing about this team is that we're not conservative. We're encouraged to put ourselves under pressure and deliver plays. It's great," he stated.

Barrett, who credits being brought into the leadership circle of the team as boosting his self-confidence, admits he needs to add more steel to his on pitch personality - a trait that his potential Lions counterpart Jonathan Sexton is certainly not lacking in.

"That's probably an area where I've got work to do. It's always going to be difficult for me, just because of my personality. I've had to learn how to have those uncomfortable situations that no one really likes to have.

"But the team vision is always in mind, that's what you're trying to align everyone with," he said.

The Lions begin their tour on June 3 against a Provincial team - Gatland's son Bryn will be in their team adding a nice early spark to the campaign - with the three Tests at the back-end of the trip on June 24, July 1 and July 8. 

Agence France-Presse

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 15 December 2017
Ulster v Harlequins 19h45 Kingspan Stadium
Sat, 16 December 2017
Montpellier v Glasgow Warriors 13h00 Altrad Stadium
Treviso v Scarlets 13h00 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Leinster v Exeter Chiefs 15h15 Aviva Stadium
Racing Metro v Castres 15h15 Stade Yves-du-Manoir
Bath v Toulon 17h30 Recreation Ground
Sun, 17 December 2017
Wasps v La Rochelle 13h00 Ricoh Arena
Clermont Auvergne v Saracens 15h15 Stade Marcel-Michelin
Ospreys v Northampton Saints 15h15 Liberty Stadium
Leicester Tigers v Munster 17h30 Welford Road
RESULT SCORE
Mon, 11 December 2017
Saracens v Clermont Auvergne 14 | 46
Sun, 10 December 2017
Exeter Chiefs v Leinster 8 | 18
Harlequins v Ulster 5 | 17
La Rochelle v Wasps 49 | 29
Sat, 09 December 2017
Munster v Leicester Tigers 33 | 10
Castres v Racing Metro 16 | 13
Northampton Saints v Ospreys 32 | 43
Toulon v Bath 24 | 20
Scarlets v Treviso 33 | 28
Fri, 08 December 2017
Glasgow Warriors v Montpellier 22 | 29
Sun, 03 December 2017
Harlequins v Saracens 20 | 19
Sat, 02 December 2017
Cheetahs v Scarlets 28 | 21
Munster v Ospreys 36 | 10
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 32 | 25
Treviso v Leinster 10 | 36
BRITISH & IRISH LIONS
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
B&I Lions 0 0 0 0 0
Australia 0 0 0 0 0
Barbarians 0 0 0 0 0
Force 0 0 0 0 0
Reds 0 0 0 0 0
Waratahs 0 0 0 0 0
Brumbies 0 0 0 0 0
Rebels 0 0 0 0 0
NSW-Queensland 0 0 0 0 0
Blues 0 0 0 0 0
Highlanders 0 0 0 0 0
Hurricanes 0 0 0 0 0
Crusaders 0 0 0 0 0
Chiefs 0 0 0 0 0
NZ Barbarians 0 0 0 0 0
Maori All Blacks 0 0 0 0 0
New Zealand 0 0 0 0 0