Jenkins wary of Wellington threat

British & Irish Lions coach Gareth Jenkins knows Sir Clive Woodward's side need to bounce back from their defeat at the hands of New Zealand Maori when they take on Wellington. [more]

Lions Australia Tour 2013

British & Irish Lions coach Gareth Jenkins knows Sir Clive Woodward’s side need to bounce back from their defeat at the hands of New Zealand Maori when they take on Wellington.

With the first Test of the tour against the All Blacks looming, the Lions will be determined to get back to winning ways.

The tourists will parade a near Test-strength side – including the probable back division to face New Zealand in Christchurch on Saturday week – and they will face a Wellington outfit minus unavailable All Blacks squad members Tana Umaga, Jerry Collins, Rodney So’oialo and Conrad Smith.

Jenkins though, is aware of an impressive Wellington pedigree under coach John Plumtree, who was formerly in charge at Swansea and involved in many derbies with Jenkins’ Llanelli side.

"What Wellington have got is a season or two behind them. They are not a new identity, they are a team that has been very successful in Super 12 and National Provincial Championship rugby over the years," said Jenkins.

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"John has done very well down here. He’s moulded this team, and it is very effective and competitive.

"For us, they are all defining games – the next game is the most important game.

"We need to put a performance in, we need to get aspects of our game right and we need to get a winning performance out of ourselves after the performance against the Maori.

"There are two opportunities left for every player on this tour that is selected for the next games to make a statement.

"After that, I think the whole tour will focus on the Tests, and I don’t think there is one single player in our environment who won’t be capable, or able, to realise his responsibility to the Test XV.

"When the time comes and the Test team is actually selected, we will be as bonded and as united as we are now, and we will realise all our responsibilities to give every ounce of every bit of energy towards making that first Test a success for us."

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