British & Irish Lions coach Eddie O'Sullivan is looking forward to Saturday's tour opener against Bay of Plenty and believes the Lions' tough schedule will be ideal preparation for the games against the All Blacks.
After Bay of Plenty, the Lions will face the likes of Taranaki and a Test-standard New Zealand Maori XV before meeting the All Blacks on June 25th in Christchurch.
Sir Clive Woodward has named a strong side to play Bay of Plenty as they attempt to hit the ground running.
"Every game we play here in New Zealand we will be tested," O'Sullivan said.
"That makes a Lions tour unique and if we don't go into every game with that mentality we will get turned over. That starts in Rotorua where Bay of Plenty will try and throw the kitchen sink at us.
"We have got to get our heads around that very quickly. That will make us a better team. We will get to the Test side knowing all the players have been put through the mill and we know what we are picking from.
"It gives you the best opportunity to pick your strongest side to win the series. That is why we are playing all these tough games."