Wales centre Jonathan Davies says the summer tour of Hong Kong and Australia will be as intense as it gets but that head coach Warren Gatland will have the 2013 British & Irish Lions fully prepared for the magnitude of what lies ahead.
The Lions head south on May 27 for a 10-game tour that includes a mouth-watering match up with the Barbarians and fixtures against all five Australian Super XV franchises, as well as a three-Test series with the Qantas Wallabies.
Davies was part of the Wales side that was beaten 3-0 in heartbreaking circumstances Down Under last June and he insists he’s determined not to suffer the same fate in another red jersey this time around.
“It’s going to be a tough few weeks with the number of games and the speed of those games but the boys are going to be well prepared and I’m sure Gats will make sure we’re all ready for it,” said Davies.
“I’m sure all the games will be physical and all the boys will expect that and want to make sure we impose our physicality.
“We were caught cold in the first Test down there with Wales last year. Australia came out of the blocks really hard and it did catch us cold.
“In the second Test we were better equipped for that and we were ready for it. We’ve got to be ready for all the games and hit the ground running.
“The experiences we gained last year, going to the same stadiums that we’re going to on this tour, the boys won’t have bad memories – it will just be something to inspire us. It’s an exciting prospect.”
Another exciting prospect for Davies surrounds his potential midfield partners Down Under.
The Scarlets star was picked alongside flat mate Jamie Roberts, England’s new sensation Manu Tuilagi and Ireland legend Brian O’Driscoll for his debut Lions adventure and he is already looking forward to playing alongside all three of them.
“I’ve played a lot with Jamie at international level but I’m really excited about getting some game time with the other centres. They’ve both done really well over the last couple of years,” added Davies.
“I’m just looking forward to working with him (O’Driscoll) and learning a lot from him.
“There’s a lot of competition in the centre but it’s not a competition in that sense at all – we’re going out there as one team to do a job.
“I’m sure all the boys are really looking forward to mixing with all the other guys. It’s one of the most important things when you get together – you need to make sure you build relationships and that’s going to be done over the next couple of weeks.”