No complaints from Lions over schedule

British and Irish Lions tour manager John Spencer has insisted there is no issue with the six-week schedule ahead for the side.

The squad touched down in Auckland on Wednesday, three days before their first match against the Provincial Barbarians in Whangarei.

Matches against the Blues, Crusaders, Highlanders and Chiefs will all take place before the start of the Test series on June 24, and Spencer stressed that the Lions were delighted to face the best possible challenge.

"The schedule is set by the New Zealand Rugby Union, and that's a contractual thing and has been for many years," said Spencer.

"We don't mind the schedule at all. It would be a pointless exercise coming to New Zealand to play the best team in the world, and trying to play them having played mediocre opposition.

"So the fact that we're playing Super Rugby sides is exactly what the coaches want, to prepare sides for the Test."

Spencer did go on to admit that the Lions' only issue was down to a lack of time to prepare back home, given the commitments of a number of players to their clubs for both the Premiership and PRO12 play-offs.

The Lions delayed their departure until after those respective finals in order to arrive in New Zealand as one group on Wednesday.

And Spencer, a victorious Lions tourist in 1971 in New Zealand, added that whilst those preparation limitations had been frustrating, the Lions had got on with the task at hand.

"The only thing we're disappointed in on the domestic side is the preparation time, we're trying to fit six weeks' preparation into a couple of weeks with only part of our squad," said Spencer.

"So that aspect is disappointing, but that's our lot, that's what we have to react to."

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