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Video: ‘The Lions have found their defensive identity’ – Farrell

The Lions have found their defensive identity and now are ready to impose it on all comers – according to assistant coach Andy Farrell.

“I think we are going to be a hell of a side.”

Farrell – defence coach to Ireland when they downed the All Blacks last year and the Lions in 2013 when they beat the Wallabies – has masterminded a fine defensive effort on Tour so far in New Zealand.

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The Lions have only shipped seven tries in five games on Tour so far, and held the Crusaders and the Maori All Blacks to just one try between them on consecutive Saturdays.

Next up however are the Chiefs on Tuesday before the first Test against the All Blacks on the weekend and Farrell wants his side to lift their levels again.

“We are becoming very cohesive, there is a (defensive) identity to us, that is what we are about – we have got to stand for something.

“The correlation between the game tomorrow night and the first Test is very close with the type of game that the Chiefs want to play, so we are hoping to set a good example on Tuesday night.

“There are a few things we need to keep improving at, the Chiefs will pose a few threats like the All Blacks will at the weekend so we are looking to put our best foot forward.”

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Tuesday’s clash with the Chiefs is a last audition for the players before selection for the first Test, and Farrell admits places are still up for grabs.

“We are loving it as coaches, we are busy and in it constantly with all the players. We are finding it fantastic, that is what it is all about one team, one squad,” he added.

“We are forcing a few errors and playing as physical as we should be. Is there room for improvement? Of course there is, and that’s the way it has to be, the note to all the squad you get a chance every day in training to show how well you are prepped and understand the job in hand and put your best foot forward every time you take the field.

“That is what we are looking at on Tuesday night, the door is never closed.”

And with European, Aviva Premiership and Guinness PRO12 champions throughout their squad – Farrell insists it is the players that are driving the standards.

“They enjoy it, they buzz off one another and they want to show their intent and that is building nicely” he added.

“If you look at our squad it is full of winners, guys that are used to winning and know how to win.

“I think we are going to be a hell of a side, we play this game on Tuesday, hopefully we get the result that we are after and we show improvement and we go down to Auckland and there is a Sea of Red there.

“The strength of the collective group is going to be phenomenal and let’s see what we can bring when we bring a togetherness.”


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