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Demanding tour schedule can get Lions roaring - Jones

Omnisport logoOmnisport 23/12/2016 Peter Thompson
EddieJones-cropped: England head coach Eddie Jones © Provided by Omnisport England head coach Eddie Jones

Eddie Jones believes the British and Irish Lions' demanding schedule on the tour of New Zealand could work in their favour when they attempt to beat the All Blacks next year.

The Lions will face a Provincial Union XV in their first fixture on June 3, then take on a quartet of Super Rugby sides and the Moari All Blacks before the first of three Tests against the world champions on June 24.

Warren Gatland's men will also come up against Hurricanes prior to the second Test in a hectic itinerary.

There have been complaints about the number of matches the Lions will play, but England head coach Jones thinks playing so many games could be a plus for Gatland's side.

"What's going to be interesting is the lead-up games; how much form the Lions can get quickly against Super Rugby teams who are going to be firing," said the Australian.

"I think there's a potential advantage there for the Lions. Although it's a tough schedule, everyone acknowledges that, but it gives them a chance to adjust to the pace and the tempo that's going to be played in New Zealand."

Jones was full of praise for the All Blacks, who put together a world record run of 18 consecutive victories against tier-one nations before losing to Ireland in Chicago last month.

He added: "It's quite exceptional what they've done and that they've got the capacity to replace icons of the game so quickly.

"The gap they have between the best player and their next best player is a lot smaller than any other country in the world.

"It's a great credit to New Zealand's development system and their coaches."

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