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George thriving in Lions environment

George thriving in Lions environment

on Saturday, Jamie George will become the first man in 16 years to start a Test for the Lions before one for his country

Jamie George has only been in camp with the Lions for just over a week but already the hooker feels like he has been playing with his new teammates for years.

“Rory Best, he’s a great competitor. Whenever I’ve played against him I’ve had great respect for him.”

The 26-year-old was in Ireland with the majority of Warren Gatland’s 2017 squad for training and departed from London on Monday afternoon with the rest of the 41-man squad.

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Hard yards have been put in as they prepare to take on the All Blacks in a Test series next month.

The first game of the ten-match Tour against the NZ Provincial Barbarians is now a matter of days away and the squad have gelled in no time according to the Saracens star.

“It’s been really good so far,” said George.

“It’s been great to be involved. The Lions has been in the back of your mind since you’ve been selected and it’s been nice to get up and running and have a productive week.

“We have been going through it all. We’ve got just under a week until the first game so we quite quickly have to learn the calls and get up to speed.

“Our session on Thursday looked like we have been playing together for a long time. Things are looking good.”

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George has won 17 caps for his country but all of them have come off the bench in his young international career.

The competition for the starting No 2 jersey for the Lions is intense, with Rory Best and Ken Owens also vying for selection.

The trio have been working together to ensure the entire squad drawn from the four home nations get on the same page quickly.

“We help each other out and learn,” he added.

“Rory Best, he’s a great competitor. Whenever I’ve played against him I’ve had great respect for him.

“Now we’re on the same team and we’re helping each other out with calls and ideas. I’m looking forward to working with in the next seven weeks.

“Both Rory and Ken Owens are fantastic players and there’s a lot of competition in the squad. That’s what we want and I’m looking forward to working with both of them.

“We haven’t spoken too much, but you have to earn the shirt and that’s my ambition. I know I need to be at the top of my game to do that and I will be ready when any opportunity comes.

“Obviously I prefer to start, but whatever role I have I try to do it to the best of my ability for the team.”

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