You won’t miss a thing, Lions fans!

Rugby World - - EDITOR’S WELCOME - Owain Jones, Ed­i­tor Email: owain. Phone: 01252 555271 Twit­ter @ owain­jtjones

SO THIS is it. Af­ter four years wait­ing, the dor­mant beast that is the Bri­tish & Ir­ish Lions awak­ens for the tough­est as­sign­ment of all: beat­ing the All Blacks in their own back­yard.

With a fix­ture list Sir Gra­ham Henry called “sui­ci­dal”, the Lions will play six games, many against sides tear­ing up Su­per Rugby, be­fore tak­ing on Steve Hansen’s merry men. Oh, and two Tests are at a ground (Eden Park) where New Zealand haven’t lost since 1994!

Tough, but the pow­ers-that-be should do all they can to keep the tours at ten games – just with sorely-needed ex­tra prepa­ra­tion time. Surely it isn’t too much to ask for fl ex­i­bil­ity once ev­ery four years.

Rugby World’s elite squad will be out in New Zealand cov­er­ing ev­ery blade of grass so that you, the read­ers, don’t miss a thing and in this is­sue we have enough Lions trivia and anal­y­sis to turn you into a Grade A rugby smar­tarse.

We have a shiny wallchart to keep track of re­sults, 21 pages of squad profi les, and in­ter­views with the stars who could de­ter­mine the se­ries: Owen Far­rell (P42), Ge­orge North (P38), Stuart Hogg (P74) and All Blacks’ con­jurer-in- chief, Ben Smith (P46). All in all, it’s an es­sen­tial com­pan­ion to the tour.

We hope you en­joy the is­sue.

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