Tom Richards Cup - Australia v British & Irish Lions
Robbie Deans hails 'formidable' Lions
June 17, 2013
Jonathan Davies impressed most against the Waratahs © Getty Images
Wallabies coach Robbie Deans hailed the British & Irish Lions as "formidable" after their impressive 47-17 win against New South Wales Waratahs at Allianz Stadium in Sydney on Saturday night.
The Wallabies take on the Lions, who remain undefeated on tour, in the first Test at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night, and Deans is not surprised the tourists appear to be peaking at just the right time. "[It was a] good performance from them," he said. "They played very well and they showed they're going to be a formidable foe. We know their players very well obviously, but they've come together well."
Deans said the Lions would likely benefit from taking on strong opponents in the lead up to the first Test, but he said his own side had prepared as best they could at their training camps over the past weeks. "It was nothing like match prep, obviously," he said of the Wallabies' training camps. "But we're much better for the time we've had, the conversations we've had, first and foremost, and the ability to get some work under our belt."
The New Zealand-born Wallabies coach maintained the make-up of his side for the first Test was not yet determined. "Things will become clear this week," he said. "Any decision at this level is a big one. Any decision manifests itself on other people so we'll make those decisions and the great thing is we are in a Test week. The excitement levels will go up, and they're already there with the public, I suspect. I was able to sit out amongst the public last night, and there's no doubt that the decibel level is going to go up another notch this week."
Deans said he expect the scrum battles against the Lions to be hard-fought for the players, and testing for the referees. "It's a Test match and every side pushes the boundaries, I guess. The referees will come under pressure, there's no doubt, and both sides will be penalised."
Robbie Deans is prepared for the toughest task of his coaching career