Lions tour: Chiefs lock Dominic Bird ready to soar against Lions

  • 20/06/2017

Dominic Bird - Chiefs pack leader.

It's not a title the 26-year-old usually carries, with Brodie Retallick next to him in the franchise's second row - but he may have to take up the mantle against the British and Irish Lions in Hamilton on Tuesday.

With the 60-cap Retallick and Nathan Harris on All Blacks duty and Kane Hames rested after his Maori All Blacks exploits, Bird - with 25 Chiefs appearances - shapes up as the side's most experienced tight-five member for the match.

It's a quintet that'll have its work cut out in the Waikato, as a second-string Lions squad look to convince Warren Gatland of their Test credentials.

"There's plenty of steel there," said Bird, who will call the lineout.

"You've got to play to your own strengths, but also be aware of what they're good at - and we know their maul is really good.

"We'll be getting stuck into that, and their scrum as well."

A two-cap All Black himself, Bird has been in outstanding Super Rugby form in 2017 and placed himself in the frame for a Test recall.

He is excited to pit his wits against the home unions' finest players.

"The occasion's going to be massive and we can relate to that same excitement, us being the underdog - (there'll be) a fair bit of enthusiasm from a different bunch of Chiefs, not the standard team," Bird said.