'Massive expectation' on the Lions says New Zealand coach Steve Hansen

New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen has turned up the heat on the British and Irish Lions ahead of this summer's tour, warning the expectation on them will be "massive".

Warren Gatland steered the Lions to a 2-1 series win in Australia four years ago and he will be hoping for further success when they head to New Zealand for their 10-match tour.

More than 20,000 Lions supporters are expected to travel to the home of the world champions for the three Tests, and All Blacks boss Hansen has questioned whether the players will be able to cope with the extra pressure that brings.

New Zealand coach Steve Hansen
New Zealand coach Steve Hansen

He told the Daily Telegraph: "The Lions would be foolish to think that there's not an expectation there for them to do well.

"There will be a massive expectation on them. If you're a Lions fan, you'd look at it and say, 'We've got four countries going into one against the opposition, we should be able to beat these blokes'. That is an expectation to be dealt with.

"We have our own expectations. People expect us to win, too. We don't get to avoid it. But it's something that we live with all the time. And have had to learn to deal with. And the Lions will have to learn to deal with it. And I'm not sure.

"Each team has its own unique way of dealing with it.

"My point is that 20,000 will be coming out with a massive expectation. Yes, they want to see some good rugby but they also want to see the Lions win."

More on this topic

Gatland rescued Lions brand, now to protect itGatland rescued Lions brand, now to protect it

Gatland fires back at Jones after ruling out coaching EnglandGatland fires back at Jones after ruling out coaching England

Warren Gatland announced as Lions head coach for 2021 South Africa tourWarren Gatland announced as Lions head coach for 2021 South Africa tour

Warren Gatland to become Lions head coach for third timeWarren Gatland to become Lions head coach for third time

More in this Section

Player ratings from Ireland's Rugby World Cup quarter-final defeatPlayer ratings from Ireland's Rugby World Cup quarter-final defeat

Twitter: Tributes paid to Schmidt and Best after Rugby World Cup quarter-final defeatTwitter: Tributes paid to Schmidt and Best after Rugby World Cup quarter-final defeat

Emotional end for retiring Ireland skipper Best after All Blacks beatingEmotional end for retiring Ireland skipper Best after All Blacks beating

Eddie O'Sullivan: 'This was an absolute tonking'Eddie O'Sullivan: 'This was an absolute tonking'


Lifestyle

These are the nail hues to choose this season, says Katie Wright.Perfectly polished: 5 autumn/winter nail trends you’ll actually want to wear

This early 19th-century table is one of a number of Irish lots at Sotheby’s Style, Furniture and Ceramics sale in New York on Thursday (October 24).Irish lots poised to add bite to Big Apple sale

Something for all at Hegarty’s auction in Bandon, says Des O’SullivanSomething for all at Hegarty’s auction in Bandon

Des O’Sullivan gives a preview of the Irish selection on offer at two sales in DublinPreview of the Irish selection on offer at two sales in Dublin

More From The Irish Examiner