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VIDEO: George and Lions aiming to become best pack in the world

Steve Borthwick has challenged his Lions forwards to become the best pack in the world in just six weeks and Jamie George knows his side can take a sizeable step on that path this Saturday.

“We have to become the best pack in the world.”

George will make his first start of the Tour against the Crusaders in Christchurch as the Lions look to bounce back from defeat to the Blues on Wednesday.

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The Crusaders are unbeaten and top the table in Super Rugby this year and their tight five for Saturday’s clash at AMI Stadium are all capped All Blacks.

But George welcomes the chance to prove himself against the best in the world, with one eye on the Test series against the All Blacks to come.

“We know that the Crusaders are in top form at the minute but we are really confident going in,” he said.

“We have been made aware, and done a big preview of them. We know they probably have the best set-piece in Super Rugby but all along Steve (Borthwick) has said to us that if we want to win this Test series then we have to become the best pack in the world.

“That is something that we are striving to do and we are building day in and day out, getting better and better and this is a great opportunity to lay down a platform.

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“We were very aware of the challenge from the very beginning, New Zealand have been the best team in the world for a long time so in order to come here and win a Test series we are going to have to become the best pack and the best team in the world in six weeks.

“It’s a big statement but one that is needed.

“This is an opportunity for us to lay a marker down and going towards the Test series it will be good for us to get some dominance there.”

George’s 17 caps for England have all come off the bench and while his Lions bow also came as a replacement against the NZ Provincial Barbarians, on Saturday he gets his hands on the No 2 shirt.

And the 26-year-old is itching to show the coaches what he can do – in a pack that also includes his Saracens teammates Mako Vunipola and George Kruis.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity, Warren made it pretty clear that we were all going to get a start in the first three games,” he added.

“It’s really exciting and to be going into it with the squad that we are, with a huge amount of experience is really exciting and I can’t wait to get into it.

“We have played together for a long time, and it’s fantastic to have so many players from Saracens and from England in this squad.

“Mako has been there and done it so I have been picking his brains a little bit, we have played together for a long time now.

“And with George in the lineout, he will be calling it, so we should know each other pretty well.

“I have just been asking (Mako) little bits, the whole way through just getting to grips with all the plays and the lineouts, his experiences from the first few games on the last Tour and what he feels that I need to do.”

And George also has another clubmate to pick the brain of in Borthwick, who is forwards coach at England and formerly a teammate at Sarries.

“I played with Steve for four or five yeras and worked with him as a coach for the last two so I think we have a fantastic relationship,” added George.

“We can bounce ideas off each other, he is a very humble guy and if you are not happy with something he is very approachable.

“He has got fantastic attention to detail and delivers a message really well and had a huge impact on the squad so far.”

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