NZ Barbarians vs British & Irish Lions

Best Bet 1: British & Irish Lions -30.5 @ $1.90 – William Hill

New Zealand BarbaRIANS ($19.00) VS BRITISH & IRISH LIONS ($1.01)

Toll Stadium in Whangarei will see the travelling British & Irish Lions kick-off their tour of New Zealand with a match against the New Zealand Provincial Barbarians on Saturday evening (17:30 EST).

Prediction:

The British and Irish Lions won’t exactly have fond memories of touring New Zealand, losing the last series in 2006, 0-3. Coupled with that, the have only ever managed five Test victories on New Zealand soil since 1904. However, there is a lot of belief amongst the current crop of players of a rare Test series victory given Ireland’s win over the All Blacks last year and England equalling the All Blacks 18-match winning streak earlier this season.

The British & Irish Lions will look to ease into a very intense tour that will see them play ten games over the course of the next month against a team principally made up of New Zealand’s semi-provincial competition. Coach Clayton McMillan has been allowed to select certain Super Rugby players as well in his line-up, who are a part of ‘wider training squads’. A notable inclusion in the team this week is Bryn Gatland, the son of Lions coach Warren. The side will be captained by hooker Sam Anderson-Heather and he will be joined in the pack by Josh Goodhue, brother of Crusaders centre, Jack. In the back line, Gatland will be joined by centre and Waikato stalwart, Dwayne Sweeney. Other than that, unless you have watched ITM Cup, you would’ve had very little exposure to the Lions first opponents.

Warren Gatland’s first team is a strong one captained by Sam Warburton, but probably lacks the combinations that we will see in the more important games. Up front, Englishmen Joe Marler and Kyle Sinckler have been selected as props, with Rory Best playing the hooking role. Welsh rugby captain Alun Wynn-Jones and Ireland’s Iain Henderson form the second row and an all-Wales backrow featuring Ross Moriarty, Sam Warburton and the man formerly known as Toby Faletau. Scotland’s Greg Laidlaw and Jonny Sexton have been selected as the halves combination with rugby league convert and former Kiwi, Ben Te’o and England’s Jonathan Joseph in the centres. The back three is comprised of two Scotsman, Tommy Seymour and Stuart Hogg with England’s Anthony Watson on the wing. The bench consists of four Englishmen (Jamie George, Mako Vunipola, George Kruis and Owen Farrell), two Irishmen (Tadgh Furlong and the Kiwi-born Jarred Payne) and two Welshmen (Justin Tipuric and Rhys Webb).

Predicted result: British & Irish Lions to win @ $1.14 – Sportsbet

Best Bet 1: British & Irish Lions -30.5 @ $1.90 – William Hill

Author

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Glenn

Glenn has followed rugby union for 19 years and has expert knowledge on the game freely committing to over 500 viewing hours a year. Having played with and against some current Super Rugby players and International superstars, he understands the game, the players and the laws inside out. Having been born in South Africa, spent time in New Zealand and currently living in Australia, Glenn lives and breathes rugby. With so many different tournaments happening around the world simultaneously and the addition of Rugby Sevens to the Olympic program, there are always plenty of healthy betting options available. An obsession, a passion, call it what you will, Glenn enjoys sharing his insight, opinions and predictions with anyone who wants to listen.

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