Hickie seeks right balance

Denis Hickie knows he has got to strike the right balance against Taranaki if he wants to impress his Test match credentials upon British & Irish Lions head coach Sir Clive Woodward. [more]

Lions Australia Tour 2013

Denis Hickie knows he has got to strike the right balance against Taranaki if he wants to impress his Test match credentials upon British & Irish Lions head coach Sir Clive Woodward.

Hickie features alongside Geordan Murphy and Shane Horgan in an all-Ireland back three and is acutely aware that his responsibility is to keep things sensible and perform for the team rather than recklessly trying to catch the eye.

"You go in to perform as well as you can," Hickie said. "I’ve been around for a few years and I guess I know from experience that if you try to prove yourself too too much you can almost try too hard.

"You are better off just doing what you are good at, do your job and be judged on that. That’s not to say you take anything lightly.

"You approach these games and you know you have to perform, but there is a relaxing quality in that you think ‘here is my job, I know what to do and I’ll be judged on that’."

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Midweek coach Ian McGeechan has been at pains to stress that the first challenge his players must overcome is the extreme motivation the provincial sides have to beat the Lions.

It was evident on Saturday, when the Bay of Plenty put on a brave fight and managed to haul the Lions back in from 17-0 up.

"I don’t think anyone has a probe to motivate themselves to play for the Lions," said Hickie.

"It’s a one-off game for them to play the Lions, but you have to treat it like a one-off game yourself.

"You don’t know when your next chance might be. Motivation is not a problem for anyone in this team.

"It is the highlight of my career and I do get a sense of achievement and that is the way it should be."

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