British & Irish Lions boss Sir Clive Woodward believes he ought to have named an even bigger squad to challenge New Zealand in the Test series.
The Lions’ 38-19 defeat to the All Blacks in Auckland on Saturday sealed a 3-0 whitewash and some have suggested Woodward should not have taken a record 45 players on tour plus almost as many technical and support staff.
However, Woodward dismissed the criticism and instead stated he had been generally satisfied with the way the trip had progressed.
Woodward told BBC Radio Five Live’s Sportsweek he would have this advice for his successor: "I would say take more players, play more games and make the Lions bigger and better.
"At the end of the day we were probably five or six players short of the team we wanted to be – we needed all our best players on the park and we didn’t quite achieve it.
"It’s been a very successful tour off the pitch – it’s a very tough place to come down here. To keep everyone as one and in harmony is a big challenge. But I know you get judged on results and we have lost three Test matches."
The Lions’ poor form has prompted some to question their ongoing validity, with Woodward’s successor to be found for the Lions’ next tour to South Africa in four years’ time.
However, Woodward maintained that far from sounding the death knell for the Lions, the struggle against adversity in New Zealand could act as a catalyst for more successful trips in the future.
Woodward added: "The Lions ethos and concept is still intact and those 45 players have been huge ambassadors for the game.
"It has been hugely challenging and we have done a lot of things right. The positives are that it has been a great trip and we have made loads of friends. You have just got to take a balanced view and keep everything in perspective."