â00Thereâ00s a good mix of talent across the four Home Nations,â0 said Mauger, who started the first and second Tests against the Lions last time out.
â00Thereâ00s so many players to pick from for the Lions, itâ00s about getting the right players to go there and compete. Itâ00s mixing experience with youthful exuberance.
â00Thereâ00s a lot of young guys coming on the scene now, particularly in Wales and Ireland, and if you mix that with old heads from England and Scotland, they could get the right mix there.
â00But itâ00s a big job selection wise. If they get that right, theyâ00ll be in with a shout.â0
As well as believing that picking the right players will be key to the Lionsâ00 chances in May, June and July, Mauger is also of the opinion that positive leadership, both on and off the field, will be essential if the Lions are to repeat the series success they experienced in1997.
The 28-year-old is currently acting as captain at Guinness Premiership leaders Leicester Tigers and, although his modesty will prevent him from admitting so himself, Mauger knows all about leading by example.
â00I think leadership will be very important for the Lions. Paul Oâ00Connell and Brian Oâ00Driscoll are two guys who look like theyâ00re in the running for the captainâ00s job.
â00Obviously Oâ00Connellâ00s done a great job with Munster and Oâ00Driscollâ00s done the job before with the Lions.
â00I think it will be huge for the Lions if those two are playing well and leading the team well. That will go a long way to showing the younger guys in the rest of the team what itâ00s all about.â0
Aaron Mauger (left) tormented the Lions in New Zealand four years ago
Whoever head coach McGeechan does select to lead the Lions, Mauger admits that one thing is certain; the whole squad will have to be at their best if the Lions are to come away with a series triumph.
Having won 45 caps for the All Blacks and played Super rugby for seven years, Mauger knows all about what it takes to win in South Africa.
â00South Africa is always a tough place to play. They always play well at home. Theyâ00re very hard to beat there. They seem to play with a bit more pace and urgency and they seem 50 per cent stronger physically when theyâ00re at home.
â00Sometimes I think itâ00s hard for them and they lose their focus on tour in New Zealand and Australia because theyâ00re away for such a long time. But when theyâ00re at home itâ00s like theyâ00re on some sort of special juice. They just come out firing and itâ00s always a really hard, physical game.
â00Theyâ00re a very good side. They proved that when they came over here late last year so I think itâ00s going to be a tough tour for the Lions.â0
Mauger knows how good it feels to come out on top against South Africa
Mauger has previously come face-to-face with the majority of players in line for a Springbok shirt this year and he is fully aware of the dangers with which the Lions will be presented.
The ex-Canterbury Crusader has praised the South African physicality but he also believes that the reigning world champions have pace and power all over the park.
â00I think thereâ00s a lot of quality guys over there in South Africa. Pierre Spies and Ryan Kankowski are awesome No8s. Theyâ00re really good athletes and I think theyâ00ll cause a bit of trouble, especially if theyâ00re roaming out wide.
â00Then there are guys like Francois Steyn, young guys coming on and playing some really good rugby at the moment.
â00The Lions will know a bit about Butch James because heâ00s playing over here but, if heâ00s involved, I think heâ00ll be quite influential as well.
â00Youâ00ve got Victor Matfield and Bakkies Botha and other guys up front who are awesome, awesome players. Theyâ00re physical and can be quite intimidating if you let them but, if you get stuck into them early, you can counter that as well.
â00I really rate Jean de Viilers. I think heâ00s a really good player. Out of him, Adi Jacobs and Jacques Fourie, I think heâ00s probably the more complete footballer. Heâ00s probably one of the better midfielders in the world. Heâ00s one of those guys who consistently performs and heâ00ll be a big threat for them.
â00Fourieâ00s also always performed well for South Africa. Heâ00s quick and heâ00s a strong guy so theyâ00ve got some pretty good options there in the centre.â0
Mauger started both the first and second Tests against the Lions in 2005
Although the Lions are set to face a Springbok side packed with international experience, mental toughness, blistering speed and an ever-growing confidence, Mauger feels the Lions must concentrate on their own game rather than worry too much about what is directly in front of them.
â00If you try too hard to nullify what the opposition is doing, you forget about yourselves sometimes,â0 explained Mauger.
â00Itâ00s probably been one of the greatest strengths of teams Iâ00ve played in back in New Zealand, that we just focus more on ourselves, playing to the right spaces and our own strengths. Itâ00s about being confident that, if you play well, then youâ00ll probably win the game.â0
If the Lions do follow Maugerâ00s advice and manage to produce the kind of single-minded rugby so closely associated with the All Blacks and Crusaders of recent years, then supporters the width and breadth of Britain and Ireland could finally put the disappointing memories of 2005 well and truly to bed.