Lions Tour

All Blacks flanker Jerome Kaino has insisted he had no intention going out to injure Conor Murray during last Saturday's first Test against the British and Irish Lions.

Warren Gatland is getting desperate, says Steve Hansen

Steve Hansen has reacted angrily to Warren Gatland’s demand that referees clamp down on New Zealand’s “dangerous” targeting of Conor Murray by phoning a radio station to call him “desperate”.

Homebird John Plumtree misses those road trips with Joe Schmidt

If things had worked out a little differently, John Plumtree might possibly still be Ireland’s forwards coach, and still accompanying Joe Schmidt on unscheduled detours on the way home from Ulster matches.

New Zealand's Brodie Retallick works out during the All Blacks gym session yesterday in Wellington. Picture: Brett Phibbs

Lions must stop another lightning strike to save series

The All Blacks had it, the Lions need to stop them getting it and fight for some of their own.

Five talking points ahead of Hurricanes v British and Irish Lions

The British and Irish Lions play the final midweek game of their New Zealand tour on Tuesday when they face reigning Super Rugby champions the Hurricanes in Wellington.

Robbie Henshaw: All Blacks don't overstep the physical boundaries

Robbie Henshaw insists New Zealand do not overstep rugby's physical boundaries as the war of words around Conor Muray's Test match treatment rages on.

Steve Hansen: Warren Gatland's complaints over Conor Murray treatment 'might be a bit desperate'

All Blacks boss Steve Hansen has reacted furiously to Warren Gatland's “desperate” and “predictable” suggestion his players have deliberately tried to injure Lions scrum-half Conor Murray.

Warren Gatland wants clampdown on All Black's 'dangerous' play

Warren Gatland will ask the referees to clamp down on the All Blacks' "dangerous" harassment of Conor Murray's kicking game.

Rory Best to captain Lions against Hurricanes on Tuesday

Rory Best will captain the British and Irish Lions in Tuesday's Hurricanes clash, with George Kruis the only tourist asked to feature again having played in the first Test defeat to the All Blacks.

Israel Dagg 'blown away' by Sean O'Brien try

Israel Dagg has promised the All Blacks are going to come back even stronger when they face the British & Irish Lions for the second Test in Wellington next Saturday, writes Simon Lewis.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen takes a swipe after Lions are silenced in Auckland

Steve Hansen took a swipe at the British and Irish Lions' bid to become the world's best forward pack after the All Blacks' muscular first Test victory.

Lions captain Peter O'Mahony: 'We've got to be more clinical'

The British and Irish Lions were left to rue poor finishing after world champions New Zealand won a thrilling first Test 30-15 in Auckland.

Commanding win for New Zealand as they take first Test over the Lions

All Blacks 30, Lions 15: Simon Lewis talks through the moments that mattered as the All Blacks see off the Lions, writes Simon Lewis.

Twitter reacts to the Lions defeat against the All Blacks

Lions 15, All Blacks 30: The British and Irish Lions have been defeated by New Zealand in their first test at Eden Park in Auckland.

Live updates: British & Irish Lions take on All Blacks at Eden Park

The British & Irish Lions are taking on the All Blacks at Eden Park in New Zealand today.

Rob Howley urges Lions squad to savour atmosphere around Auckland despite restaurant incident

Rob Howley has told the British and Irish Lions squad to "enjoy the atmosphere" around a packed Auckland in the build-up to the first All Blacks Test.

Howley praises New Zealand welcome despite 'unsavoury incident' at restaurant

British & Irish Lions coach Rob Howley says the tourists are treating an incident in which team manager John Spencer was the subject of a drunken assault as isolated and disappointing but not representative of the wider experience in New Zealand.

Lions squad presented with Test jerseys by Brian O’Driscoll

BOD's former teammate Conor Murray will go into the biggest game of his career having learned the hard way how to beat the All Blacks.

Lions’ captain, Peter O’Mahony: One in a hundred

THE ancient Greeks had an appreciation, maybe sharper than ours, of how raw life could be. 

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen appears to accuse Warren Gatland of trying to 'bully referees publicly'

New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen appeared to accuse British and Irish Lions counterpart Warren Gatland of attempting to "bully" referee Jaco Peyper ahead of Saturday's first Test in Auckland.

No resorting to Barbarians-style rugby against New Zealand, says Warren Gatland

Warren Gatland has promised his British & Irish Lions will not get sucked into playing Barbarians-style rugby by the All Blacks.

Peter O'Mahony taking inspiration from Axel's advice as All Blacks clash looms

British & Irish Lions captain Peter O'Mahony will take the advice he imagines his late mentor Anthony Foley would have given him and not try "to be something you're not" when he faces the All Blacks in Saturday's first Test.

Graham Rowntree: Peter O'Mahony 'has that Paul O'Connell kind of DNA in him'

Peter O'Mahony has been described as "exactly the character you need" for a British and Irish Lions tour as he prepares to captain the tourists against New Zealand on Saturday.

Peter O'Mahony named as captain for Lions' first Test against All Blacks

Munster and Ireland's Peter O'Mahony has been named as captain of the British and Irish Lions team to face New Zealand in their first Test of the tour.

Kieran Read to lead All Blacks who also hand Rieko Ioane a first Test start against Lions

Kieran Read has recovered from injury and will captain New Zealand in Saturday's first Test against the British and Irish Lions.

Can the Lions end the All Blacks’ 23-year unbeaten run at Eden Park?

The Lions will end one of rugby's most impressive unbeaten records if they win the first Test against New Zealand.

Pressure is on for the All Blacks who dare not lose Test opener

Hard to believe that, given the incessant pre-tour hype that started out months in advance, this Lions tour has already passed the halfway point, with six games played.

Lions gathering momentum with win against the Chiefs

A meaningless match? Try telling that to this British & Irish Lions matchday squad which yesterday gave their comrades a morale-boosting victory to take into this Saturday’s first Test against New Zealand.

Warren Gatland bench options so crucial

From day one of his tenure as the head coach of the 2017 British and Irish Lions, Warren Gatland has preached the importance of a power-packed set of replacements to come into the game and either close out a victory or reel in a deficit.

Warren Gatland anticipates ‘tough’ selection meeting to pick side to face All Blacks

Gatland hailed a morale-boosting 34-6 victory for the British & Irish Lions over the Chiefs.

Will this be the Lions team to face the All Blacks this weekend?

We could have an Irish Lions captain for the first Test.

Former Scotland international and Lions tourist Doddie Weir diagnosed with motor neurone disease

The 46-year-old has decided to announce his diagnosis to raise awareness of the condition.

Rory Best praises response of Lions' dirt-trackers

Head coach Warren Gatland was delighted by the Lions' biggest win of their 2017 tour to New Zealand.

Here’s how the Lions rated against the Chiefs

Five Irish players featured as the Lions beat the Chiefs in Hamilton.

60-second report: Irish players impress in Lions victory

Simon Lewis rounds up the action from Hamilton as the Lions ran-in four tries against the Chiefs.

Peter O'Mahony ‘says things that prickle the hairs on the back of your neck’

O'Mahony has all the attributes needed to lead the Lions, according to Greg Feek.

Injured All Blacks captain on course to make first Lions Test

New Zealand captain Kieran Read is firmly on course to make his comeback from injury in Saturday's first Test against the British and Irish Lions.

Conor Murray sets the standards as likely test team find groove

Much like the Lions test team he will grace at Eden Park next Saturday, Conor Murray is coming nicely to the boil.

Lions boss shines light on darker arts of All Blacks

Warren Gatland has called on Test referees to clamp down on New Zealand’s off-the-ball blocking tactics ahead of the British and Irish Lions’ three-Test series against the All Blacks.

The latest Gatlandgate could linger for a while

The one constant with Warren Gatland over the years is his ability to generate controversy. It is something that doesn’t bother him unduly, even if you can be assured of some tetchy press conferences over the days and weeks ahead.

James Lowe won't be making friends with future Leinster teammates when Maori All Blacks play the Lions

James Lowe’s blood ties to the Maori All Blacks precluded him from making friends with future Leinster team-mate Johnny Sexton when the British and Irish Lions fly-half faced off against him this morning.

Lions could get replenishments to support Test 23

The British and Irish Lions are preparing to receive an influx of reinforcements ahead of the business end of their New Zealand tour amid accusations from the home media that there are already splits in their squad.

Letter from Rotorua: No escaping the past in Christchurch

From the English City, via the Edinburgh of the South, to the spiritual home of the Maori people, the last seven days of this 2017 British and Irish Lions tour have been a study in the shifting timeframes, cultures, and traditions of New Zealand.

Keith Earls is ready if Lions come calling

There were a few mobile phones on full charge over in New Jersey last weekend, but to my mind the one who is closer than them all to Lions form is Keith Earls, writes Ronan O’Gara

Johnny Sexton ‘rediscovers mojo’ for Lions start against Maori

IT was four years ago in Australia that Johnny Sexton guided the British and Irish Lions to their series victory over the Wallabies. Tomorrow the Ireland fly-half will be asked to keep the show on the road ahead of next week’s opening Test against New Zealand.

Peter O’Mahony relishes Lions captaincy

When Peter O’Mahony leads the British and Irish Lions out against the Maori All Blacks tomorrow morning for one of the proudest days of his career, he will pay a debt of gratitude to the leaders who have made him the captain he is.

Warren Gatland has plenty to ponder when picking the XV for opening Lions test

Simon Lewis looks at the key areas where Warren Gatland will have a selection headache going into the first test. 

Cork clubs show pride in Lions and Irish call-ups

This weekend will be a day of celebration for Cork clubs, Constitution and Dolphin, as three of their number are rewarded for endeavour with high profile selection for the British and Irish Lions and Ireland.

Dan Carter too clever for his inquisitors

All the best tens are blessed with great vision so Dan Carter knows a loaded question and its likely consequences when he sees one.

Misses and errors kick in teeth for Neil Jenkins

If anyone should be worried about missed penalty kicks from the Lions it is skills coach Neil Jenkins.

Highlanders bring the pain to thwart wounded Lions

HIGHLANDERS 23 - LIONS 22: The British & Irish Lions might have hoped to have left Dunedin’s “House of Pain” behind them when the Otago Rugby Union shut the gates on their old stadium at Carisbrook. 

Lions have to be smarter playing the ref, says Rory Best

The British & Irish Lions will have to smarten up at scrum time and focus on painting better pictures for referees following the frustrations in defeat to the Highlanders.

Next seven days vital for Lions as selections for first test will be nailed down or squandered

With four games played this Lions squad now fully appreciate the severity of the task ahead of them in the test series, writes Donal Lenihan.

Sean O’Brien: ‘I’m a smarter player with more strings to my bow’

Sean O’Brien will not be poring over every injury report the British & Irish Lions issue about tour captain Sam Warburton. 

Peter O’Mahony and Sean O’Brien handed Lions Test auditions

Peter O’Mahony has been asked to provide some ‘Munster mongrel’ to the Lions tomorrow as the tourists bid to get their New Zealand odyssey back on track against the toughest non-Test opposition of the tour.

Steve Hansen dismisses Gatland claims as he leaves Fekitoa, Milner-Skudder, and Luatua out of squad

All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen has named the squad he believes can secure a fifth straight series win over the British and Irish Lions. And he poured scorn on Warren Gatland’s assertion that there would be little difference between New Zealand’s Super Rugby sides and the world champions.

Conor Murray forewarned by memory of New Zealand’s 2008 visit to Thomond Park

Conor Murray knows exactly what will be revving up the Crusaders players he will face tomorrow. He has been in the Munster set-up long enough to remember the All Blacks visiting Thomond Park when he was an academy hopeful and the desire among his seniors to put in a massive performance against an international touring team.

Jack McGrath stays positive as Crusaders clash looms

Jack McGrath will not be a happy loser but if the means justify the ends and the Lions win their Test series against New Zealand, then he will happily take defeats to Super Rugby teams.

Rhys Webb looks to stop ‘monster’ Sonny Bill Williams in Test series

Rhys Webb believes the Lions will have to step up in class in order to shackle “monster” All Black centre Sonny Bill Williams in the upcoming Test series.

Lions feeling Blue as chaos abounds and discipline fails

BLUES 22 - BRITISH & IRISH LIONS 16: From “chaos” to “discipline”, the pre- and post-match buzzwords in the Lions camp were as diametrically opposed as what the tourists promised and actually delivered at Eden Park yesterday.

 

Rob Howley: Lions tourists set to unleash rugby chaos

From ‘Warrenball’ to ‘rugby chaos’, if the British & Irish Lions achieve nothing else on this tour of New Zealand, they have at least helped broaden the lexicon of the sport.

Robbie Henshaw on his Lions speech 'as Gaeilge'

It was short and sweet but a lot of hard work was needed for Robbie Henshaw to deliver those 70 words in Irish to the audience at New Zealand’s most important historic site last Sunday.

Robbie Henshaw says Lions must play as a pack

Robbie Henshaw was going up against childhood hero Sonny Bill Williams when he made his British and Irish Lions debut against the Blues at Eden Park this morning and he was expecting a surreal experience.

Party piece is over. From now on everybody wants Lions’ scalp

Tana Umaga, the centrepiece of one of the most contentious incidents in Lions history, wants to be the first New Zealand coach on this tour to claim a Lions scalp, and that will to win will continue everywhere the tourists travel, writes Donal Lenihan.

‘Warrenball’ jibes getting to Gatland

Back in the big city and with the self- proclaimed country boys disappearing in the Lions’ rear-view mirror, Warren Gatland’s bid to broaden minds regarding both his players and his own coaching philosophy has stepped up a notch.

Tana Umaga wary of reopening old wounds caused by his infamous spear tackle

It did not take long for Tana Umaga to hear the year 2005 mentioned but when it came, the question was not the one he’d been bracing himself for.

Fun is over and CJ Stander is ready for action

CJ Stander spent Friday afternoon outside his comfort zone and it had nothing to do with the sponsored car that carried him from Auckland to Whangarei.

Johnny Sexton looking over his shoulder at Test rivals

Warren Gatland this week told of a moment on the Carton House training field last week when he called in his fly-halves for a meeting. 

Warren Gatland: We’ve got some players with the X-factor to match All Blacks

Warren Gatland’s British & Irish Lions could be about to surprise a few sceptics in New Zealand over the next six weeks.

Johnny Sexton auditions for starting place on Lions Test team

Johnny Sexton has one game to prove he is a starting British & Irish Lion Test fly-half on this tour to New Zealand and that opportunity comes tomorrow in Whangarei.

Kyle Sinckler: ‘I’m just excited to hit people for a living’

Lions rookie Kyle Sinckler feels like he is in rugby heaven on the eve of his debut in the famous red jersey. Yet his thirst for knowledge may be hell for his teammates.

Irish players in Japan should keep their phones charged, just ask John Hayes

The Bull was on the farm in Cappamore when the call came.

Warren Gatland’s challenge: Get off to a winner

Warren Gatland has thrown down a challenge to his Lions to get the tourists off to a winning start this Saturday after last night naming a strong team to face the New Zealand Provincial Barbarians.

Munster stars may struggle for Test action, fears Jamie Heaslip

Jamie Heaslip believes all five Leinster players could feature in next month’s Lions Tests against New Zealand — but fears the Munster and Ulster contingent face a tougher battle to earn starting spots.

Lions facing ‘brutal’ tour schedule down under, warns Isa Nacewa

Isa Nacewa fears the British & Irish Lions could be beaten up before they even reach the first Test given their “brutal” tour schedule.

Lions brand has become a huge cash generator since first tour

For the financial viability of the international game in particular, there is far more riding on a competitive Lions series than many appreciate, writes Donal Lenihan.

Lions need Tour’s six-game build-up, insists Ian McGeechan

Former British and Lions coach Ian McGeechan says the 2017 tourists “need all six games” in the build-up to the first Test in New Zealand.

Dan Biggar hails spirit in camp as Lions tour ready for take-off

Whoever organised the accommodation arrangements for the British & Irish Lions last week at Carton House must have had a chuckle when they made Johnny Sexton and Dan Biggar room-mates.

Beirne put Test hopes on hold in rise through Llanelli ranks

For the Scarlets the celebrations will be shortlived.