Lions tour: It's time for Warren Gatland to show his hand - Steve Hansen

  • 17/06/2017

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen's thrown down the gauntlet to Lions coach Warren Gatland following the team's 78-0 obliteration of Samoa, suggesting it's time he reveal his game plan to beat the All Blacks.

The All Blacks blew off some early rust in their first and only hit-out before the opening Lions Test on Saturday, cantering to a 12-try to zip win in a fine display of running rugby.

In the post-match, Hansen said there was no way the All Blacks would change their approach for the Lions Tests. But he couldn't say the same for Gatland.

"Like them we've got a style we like to play and we use the ball a lot and we've got some skilful people when we do that," Hansen said.

"[Gatland] keeps on telling us he's got something up his sleeve other than his arm, we'll wait and see won't we but he's starting to run out of time to get it practiced."

Since their arrival on New Zealand's shores, Gatland's promised a different game plan to the one characterized as "Warrenball", largely adopted by his own team Wales.

Warren Gatland
Warren Gatland with Sam Warburton at Lions training Photo credit: Getty

However, in the four matches they've played on the tour so far, there has been little deviation from the plan with the likes of big ball runners CJ Stander and Ben Te'o featuring prominently.

"I've always said once you have a style as a coach and it works for you, you usually stick with it. It’s going to be a big move if he changes, we'll wait and see. Look forward to it."

Gatland will get an opportunity to answer Hansen on Saturday night when the Lions run into the Maori All Blacks in Rotorua - a clash the All Black coach was looking forward to absorbing.

"We're sitting here, we've finished for the weekend, we've come out with no injuries and we get to sit down now and get really excited about what's ahead of us and that's the Lions.

"You wait 12 years for them to come around and you don't want to miss it, we get to watch them play the [Maori All Blacks] which they'll throw the kitchen sink at them so it'll be a big game for them again then all the banter's out of the way isn't it and we're into it, can't wait."