Lions will be full throttle from the off

Lawrence Dallaglio has insisted the British & Irish Lions must take a no-holds-barred approach to their whole tour of New Zealand. [more]

Lions Australia Tour 2013

Lawrence Dallaglio has insisted the British & Irish Lions must take a no-holds-barred approach to their whole tour of New Zealand.

Lions head coach Sir Clive Woodward has to strike a difficult balance between winning the tour matches while also building towards the Test series against the All Blacks, which starts in Christchurch on June 25.

Woodward knows full well that if the Lions reveal too much early on, and therefore become too predictable, then the All Blacks will pick them off with ease.

But Dallaglio, who is itching to get stuck in against the Bay of Plenty on Saturday, will not allow those Test preparation conundrums to bother him.

The former England captain believes there is only one way to approach a Lions tour – full on.

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"Far from keeping anything hidden away, Lions tours are about giving everything you have got," said Dallaglio.

"To win a Test place is about taking your opportunity. We have been fortunate enough to be given the first opportunity on this trip.

"Any touring side will tell you that getting off to a winning start is paramount. On Lions tours you are judged in what happens in the Test series but each game is a building block towards that Test series.

"It is about momentum, about getting better and better and then hopefully peaking at the Test series. That is what we will try and do and it starts on Saturday.

"Yes, there are things both sides want to save for the Test series but we have some very tough games before the Test series. It is about getting through each obstacle we face. It is very exciting and I am looking forward to getting into some action."

Saturday’s encounter at the International Stadium in Rotorua certainly does not promise to be a quiet affair.

Bay of Plenty, who relieved Auckland of the Ranfurly Shield and reached the semi-finals of the National Provincial Competition, name a side on Wednesday that is set to include a sizeable contingent from Super 12 franchise the Otago Highlanders.

Scrum-half Kevin Senio promised the Steamers will "have a few tricks up our sleeve" and the 26-year-old himself is determined to put in a major performance to try and catch the eye of the All Blacks selectors.

"It is definitely an ambition of mine to pull on the black jersey," he said.

The Lions held a public training session at North Harbour Stadium on Tuesday in front of an estimated 4,000 supporters, involving 40 of the 45 squad members.

Jonny Wilkinson was the main attraction but the session included interviews with Woodward and his coaching staff that were broadcast on a big screen.

After the 45-minute session, when the squad was split into backs and forwards, the supporters who had braved the inclement Auckland weather had the chance to gather autographs.

Conflicting messages regarding the fitness of Scotland loose forward Simon Taylor were finally cleared up when the Lions confirmed he is still not available for selection.

Taylor’s hamstring injury is being assessed on a daily basis and while Malcolm O’Kelly, who is returning from an abdominal strain, missed the public training he was expected to complete the private afternoon session.

The other absentees were Gareth Thomas, whose arrival in New Zealand is still being discussed with his club side Toulouse, Jason Robinson, who is still at home with his pregnant wife, and Stephen Jones, who only arrived in Auckland on Tuesday.

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