DFP – Header Code

Laidlaw and Lions ready to make a statement on Saturday

Greig Laidlaw will make his first ever British & Irish Lions start on Saturday against the New Zealand Provincial Barbarians and the scrum-half is keen to a put a marker down for the entire Tour.

“For the players pulling on the jersey it is a massive opportunity for us.”

The 31-year-old Scot is named as one of nine Lions debutants in the first XV picked by Head Coach Warren Gatland that will take to the field at Toll Stadium in Whangarei.

And after the best part of three weeks in camp with the squad and having travelled to the other side of the world via Dubai and Melbourne, now the No 9 is keen to put his best foot forward.

“It’s good to be finally here and good to get our feet on the ground,” he said.

“Everybody is getting excited now, and rightly so because it is a big challenge ahead.

DFP – In Article MPU

“We have trained well and trained hard over the last couple of weeks and all we want to do now as a playing group is take the field.

“For the players pulling on the jersey it is a massive opportunity for us. To kick the Tour of with a win is what we are going out there to do.”

First up is a Saturday’s clash against the Provincial Baa Baas – an invitational side that themselves only came together last week.

And Laidlaw – who is paired with Johnny Sexton in the half-backs – admits his side have had to work hard in preparation but their Head Coach has proved their secret weapon.

Download our Official App for iPhone or Android!

“We don’t know a huge amount in terms of their (Barbarians) style of play, they will come together and give it a go because that is the Baa Baas way,” he added.

“Warren is very good, very detailed, he will take a step back and if he sees something he doesn’t he will not let it slip.

“He knows a bit about this part of the world as well which is key so obviously we will try and use his experience and knowledge. He has made a strong impression on the group already.”

And the scrum half will also be drawing on his own experiences from childhood growing up watching the Lions – in particular the 1997 Living With the Lions DVD.

“The biggest one for my (memory) would be the 1997 Tour, that was pretty famous,” he added.

“That was the first one with some of the behind the scenes stuff, Living with the Lions, which was funny for me.

“I know Jim Telfer, he is from the town next to me and is a bit of a character. Him and Geech were obviously the head men so it was quite funny to watch that.

“What came through when Jim and Geech spoke was the passion, it’s about coming together and the camaraderie of the Lions. That’s what makes it so unique and special.”

DFP – Right Hand Side MPU

DFP – Half Page

Partners & Suppliers

    Regional Sponsors

    Media Partners