Hansen: ‘Lions time too short before first game’

New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen has admitted that the British and Irish Lions do not have enough time before their first game.

The squad will touch down in Auckland on Wednesday and then only have a couple of days to adjust to the time difference before taking on the New Zealand Barbarians on Saturday.

The entire 41-man squad felt out together on Monday, waiting for those players in the Premiership and PRO12 finals to finish their seasons.

“You'd want to be there a week at the minimum,” Hansen toldThe Times. 

“It's nicer to be longer than that. When we tour we have total control over when we leave the country.”

Despite that obstacle of a lack of prepartion time, Hansen still hailed the quality and depth of Warren Gatland's squad.

“This Lions squad is one of the best to have been picked for a long, long time," Hansen added.

“We assume Warren is not going to have an epiphany and change the way he plays – but we're only assuming that, we're not believing it until we see them play.

“With a tour you do get to see the opposition play a bit, so we'll be able to confirm one or two things prior to that first Test.”

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