Qantas Wallabies flanker Liam Gill says a three-week training camp has been the perfect way to prepare for the upcoming series with The British & Irish Lions.
Gill and his team-mates have been training full time together since early this month while The Lions have been on the road playing four games in Australia and one in Hong Kong, with another to follow in Canberra tomorrow night.
And while Gill would love to have had the opportunity of an early crack at the tourists with his Queensland Reds colleagues on June 8, the in-form openside believes head coach Robbie Deans has got things spot on as the excitement surrounding the series really begins to hit home.
"It's a Godsend to have a few weeks off. Everyone is feeling refreshed and ready to go," said Gill, who is battling it out with Waratahs star Michael Hooper for the Australian No7 shirt in the absence of David Pocock and George Smith.
"We're ready to rumble and very excited about what comes ahead of us. It was hard watching each of our franchises take on the Lions and sitting back and waiting for our turn. It's put us in a good place to take them on. We're understanding more and more about the pressure of this event.
"We're starting to get excited. We've had a taste of what's to come from watching the franchises play, but I don't think it will compare to the Test series."
Gill is convinced that the excitement now gripping Australia will be more than matched by the intensity that will characterise Saturday’s first Test in Brisbane and the second and third encounters in Melbourne and Sydney.
The former Australia U20s captain expects a strong start from The Lions at the Suncorp Stadium and he insists he and his fellow Qantas Wallabies stars are more than ready to match them in that department.
"We're very wary of how they will start. They come out at a rate of knots, so we understand that we have to front up and be there from the first 10 minutes until the last 10 minutes. I believe that's where the games will be won and lost," added Gill.
"We have to combat the intensity they bring. We've tried to understand how they will give it to us and we know they will give it everything right from the start."