O'Mahony brings 'Munster mongrel' to Lions

O'Mahony brings 'Munster mongrel' to Lions”

Getting in the faces of New Zealand teams and smashing them early is the key for the British and Irish Lions' success according to the Manawatu Turbos' resident Irishman Harrison Brewer.

The game is a warm-up for the All Blacks' test series against the British and Irish Lions, starting on 24 June.

The Wales coach and the Lions generally have learned from Sir Clive Woodward's error in New Zealand in 2005 of running a Test squad and midweek group, both with differing agendas.

"They're trying to get a game under their belts".

It would be a big night for Jordie and Vaea as they're both likely to play a part on the night.

Full-back Ben Smith will lead the side for the first time in Read's absence.

Cape Town - Maori All Blacks head coach Colin Cooper believes Damian McKenzie is the right man at number 10 to counteract the Lions' rush defence. In doing so they have provided the strongest indication yet that Warburton, recovering from an ankle injury, may not be fit for the first test.

The Lions will have just one game after this weekend's fixture in Rotorua, against the Chiefs, before facing the All Blacks on June 17. The Lions lost to the Maori when the teams last met in 2005.

How many times have the Maori beaten the Lions?

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For two families, tonight's match will mark a special occasion, the All Blacks will field three Barrett brothers who will play together for the first time but a set of cousins will also square off against each other. "But I reckon coming into this season I am a lot better so it is looking good", he said.

All Blacks selectors will look closely at the form of scrumhalf Aaron Smith, under pressure from T.J. Perenara, and centre Sonny Bill Williams, who could start against the Lions if Ryan Crotty is unfit.

"I don't know if that was fairytale stuff, I have put a lot of hard work into my career and you have got to take your opportunities when they come", he said.

"We have to be smart".

It would be a unique night with two Tests being played at the same venue featuring four teams that are well known to New Zealand fans.

O'Mahony could prove a genuine captaincy option for the Lions' first Test, with tour skipper Sam Warburton still scrambling for full match sharpness after ankle trouble. Tonga welcomes a rare opportunity to play a top tier nation.

"We have got the likes of George North and Anthony Watson and we have to make sure the ball goes to them in space".

But I never said I wanted to play for the Lions at the end of this, I never said I wanted to get back to play for Ireland.

"You're playing with some of the best players in the world and the 40 guys here don't need to be screamed and roared at before a game", he said.

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