Ulster's Lions set to roar in Tour opener

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The Lions play six fixtures before the first Test against the All Blacks - in Auckland on June 24.

He was the Welsh captain as long ago as 2011 for the World Cup in New Zealand, and returned here last summer as the Welsh captain for the their three-test tour, while in between times captained the Lions four years ago in Australia.

"We're well aware that there's a bit of bridge-building to do from 2005", said Gatland, who is a New Zealander himself and earned 17 All Blacks caps from 1988 to 1991.

"We haven't spoken too much about the game but he's excited about the opportunity". "You have to give them that confidence that they can go and do that and maybe create something special".

"I think I'd have to say yes, it has to be", said Jones.

Coach Warren Gatland added that victory in the test series would be the true marker of whether the team were a success.

Canterbury has been producing the iconic red jersey for the Lions since 1959. He's made a strong impression on the group already.

"For me the experience, the more times you face up to it, you don't mind it, it's a motivational thing; it's not intimidating".

"In the past the All Blacks have tended to concentrate on themselves, they haven't anxious too much about who they're playing against".

"It's amusing, at the fact we win one and people want to preserve it for as long as possible". That's completely up to them.

"I'm hoping that's going to happen this time round".

Man at No 10: Ireland's Johnny Sexton has got the nod at fly-half.

"Johnny's been great; he knows he needs to get some games under his belt", said Gatland of Sexton.

Captain Sam Warburton has downplayed the importance of getting off to a winning start on Saturday, describing the warm-up games as an opportunity for an unfamiliar squad to develop its identity. It's not that I want the All Blacks to lose, it's that I want Dad to do well. But Neil Jenkins told him he is.

BORDERS rugby stars Stuart Hogg and Greig Laidlaw are in the British and Irish Lions starting lineup to face the Provincial Barbarians on Saturday. "Gatland only has two more Saturdays after this one before the first test". "In 2009, we struggled in that first game". He worked hard at work making a video with Fionn Ging and the rest are the current U14 players at Portlaoise RFC at the clubs grounds in Togher. "The guys are fresh, ready to go and in a good place".

"Billy Vunipola being injured is a huge loss to the Lions but they have real depth and there are guys like Taulupe Faletau and CJ Stander who will make a real impact".