Lions Can Win Test Series – Dallaglio
6th June 2005 By Munster Rugby
We can win the test series against the All Blacks. This tour isn’t about any one player. The guys have the firepower to achieve a series win, even though everyone in this country is saying otherwise.
Lawrence Dallaglio believes that despite the absence of his considerable presence the Lions can go on and win the three test series against the All Blacks.
” We can win the test series against the All Blacks and this tour isn’t about any one player. The guys have the firepower to achieve a series win, even though everyone in this country is saying otherwise because the locals are very good at sticking up for themselves.
“No one is guaranteed anything on a tour like this and I know that better than most. There are a number of players who will now have to step up in terms of leadership but we do have that kind of quality in the squad and there is a great strength in depth. Players will rise to challenge and that’s the beauty of this kind of tour, players relish the chance to put themselves forward. Players will come to the fore in, at times, the most peculiar of situations.
” England won here after 30 years of trying in 2003 and that proved it is possible and there aren’t many bigger things in rugby than to be remembered as having been part of a Lions tour that won a series in New Zealand.
“I am very disappointed that I cannot take any further part in the tour because I felt that I had a lot to offer. I wanted to be part of achieving something very special over here and I believe the resolve of the team will be strengthened by what has happened.
” In terms of the squad, this injury is the kind of thing that can happen on tour and if anything justifies what Clive has been saying all along about the number of players needed out here, then this is it.
“People continually seem to be criticising this aspect of the tour, but we have now lost three players in the first week of the trip and that just highlights the need for the current structure.
“Yes, the team did go off the boil against Bay of Plenty after the injury and that’s natural, I still think it was a great start to the tour and one the best wins ever in an opening game by the Lions. There were real signs of the potential in this squad and each game is building towards the test series.
“We will have a clear idea after Saturday’s game with the New Zealand Maori which direction this tour is going in. I believe we showed enough in the first game to suggest we are going to have an exciting tour. We have so many match winners across the team – with two or three still to arrive – and that’s why it is so frustrating because I realise we have a chance of being very successful and I wanted to be part of that.
“I got picked in the first place, but I won’t be part of the end result. Whenever you lose anyone from the squad, it’s going to be a set back but it’s a fact that one person’s misfortune is another person’s opportunity and Simon Easterby is coming out here after a fantastic Six Nations, played really well and has a really good opportunity.
” New Zealanders will have seen enough from that first game to realise this is going to be a test series that will go all the way to the wire. Whether I am there or not is irrelevant because they will be in for a tough time.”