Blues vs British and Irish Lions
Competition: Lions Tour
Date: 08 June 2017
Kick-off: 09:35 CET
After starting their tour against a team of no-name New Zealanders, the B&I Lions have a real test ahead of them as some of the strongest club teams in the world line up to try and make their mark on this historic side, starting with the Blues.
The Blues, as one of the New Zealand’s Super Rugby sides, will be nothing short of a tough challenge, but also a true introduction to the type of play the lions can expect from their tour to the land of the long white cloud. The beauty of the New Zealand system is that most of the teams play in a similar vein, and that vein is something quite hard to beat. However, the Blues are by and far not the strongest of the Super Rugby sides and for the lions it is a good introduction. The Blues are however still a proud team, and they are a team that seems to get themselves geared up for the big games, and this game will be one of those. If they can fire early on, the mish-mash lions may struggle.
In fact, the Lions have already had their struggles as early as their first game against the New Zealand Barbarians. That side was made up of a few very young and inexperienced sides, and had even less time together than the Lions, and yet still ran them very close. It was not a great performance by the combined touring side, and even more worrying is that it was a side that looks a lot stronger than the one that has been put up to take on the Blues. The Lions will know they have to try and balance their workload between the entire squad, and this is definitely a game where the fringe players will come into it, but hopefully the time together will have gelled them a little more.
Blues vs British and Irish Lions: Team news
The Blues have put up a near full strength side, and unlike the New Zealand Barbarians, there is a host of Superstars and All Blacks. The likes of Steven Luatua, James Parsons, Charlie Faumuina, George Moala and Even Sonny Bill Williams will cause Havoc.
For the Lions, They have given Welsh hooker Ken Owens the captaincy as he leads a squad where only a handful of them would make the Test side, like Maro Itoje, CJ Stander and maybe Leigh Halfpenny.
Blues vs British and Irish Lions: Prediction
It is almost non-negotiable for a Lions side to lose to in the midweek club games, but In New Zealand that could well change. It is hard to see the fringe players of the Lions team breaking the backs of the top run clubs in the world, week in and week out, but against the Blues they will have their best shot. Expect it to be close, and the Blues to do most of the attacking, but the Lions will grind out a tight win.
Blues vs British and Irish Lions: Tips
The Blues will come out firing, and score a few tries through the likes of Moala and Rieko Ioane, these are talents that the Northerners will not be used to.