British & Irish Lions 2013: Gatland’s men face ‘huge’ test – Greenwood
British & Irish Lions 2013: Will Greenwood says Warren Gatland's men face a "huge" challenge as they seek a famous series win
Will Greenwood has labelled the tour of Australia as the easiest the British & Irish Lions could face – but he has warned they must still overcome a “huge challenge” if they are to claim a first series win in 16 years.
Greenwood was part of the squad that beat South Africa in 1997 – and subsequently featured in two other Lions squads including the 2001 defeat against the Wallabies.
As a result, the England World Cup winner is well-placed to judge the Lions’ chances ahead of the first Test in Brisbane on June 22. The former Harlequins and Leicester Tigers centre is confident of success, but insists Warren Gatland’s men must gel quickly.
“It is the easiest tour,” said the 40-year-old, speaking in his role as an ambassador for the J.P. Morgan Premiership Rugby 7s Series. “You look historically at the win ratio of the different countries and there has been most success in Australia.
“They have picked up some injuries and have some off-field issues, but Australia are still an unbelievably outstanding side.
“The signs are very positive but the Lions have to find a way to go to Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney and beat the Australians who score an average of 24 points in home internationals.
“It is a huge challenge and that is why everyone is desperate to be on it still as players, and why everyone is desperate to be on the plane as a supporter.
“Right now the players are just sounding each other out, forming those bonds, forming those relationships that will be absolutely critical if they have got any chance of winning a series that hasn’t been done for 16 years.”