You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Hansen turns pressure up on Lions

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 16/05/2017
New Zealand's Steve Hansen © AAP Image/SNPA/Dianne Manson New Zealand's Steve Hansen

New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen has turned up the heat on the British and Irish Lions ahead of this summer's tour, warning the expectation on them will be "massive".

Warren Gatland steered the Lions to a 2-1 series win in Australia four years ago and he will be hoping for further success when they head to New Zealand for their 10-match tour.

More than 20,000 Lions supporters are expected to travel to the home of the world champions for the three Tests, and All Blacks boss Hansen has questioned whether the players will be able to cope with the extra pressure that brings.

"The Lions would be foolish to think that there's not an expectation there for them to do well," he told the Daily Telegraph.

"There will be a massive expectation on them. If you're a Lions fan, you'd look at it and say, 'We've got four countries going into one against the opposition, we should be able to beat these blokes'. That is an expectation to be dealt with."

Hansen says he and his players are accustomed to high expectations from New Zealand supporters.

It's unavoidable but something they have learned to live with.

"And the Lions will have to learn to deal with it. And I'm not sure," Hansen said.

"My point is that 20,000 will be coming out with a massive expectation. Yes, they want to see some good rugby but they also want to see the Lions win."

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon