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Steve Hansen told Warren Gatland the British & Irish Lions are running out of time after New Zealand sent a daunting message to the tourists with a 78-0 victory over Samoa in Auckland on Friday. The All Blacks coach watched his team score 12 tries in a dominant display of attacking rugby, then renewed his war of words with his Lions counterpart, teasing him over the latter’s promise that the Lions are not yet the finished product. New Zealand sound Lions warning with 78-0 thrashing of Samoa Read more The Lions face Maori All Blacks in Rotorua on Saturday but, with only a week to go until the first Test, there are still question marks over style and selection and Hansen said Gatland would need to show his hand against the Maori. “Like them we have a style we like to play and we use the ball a lot,” said Hansen. “We have some skilful people when we do that. Do I expect them to do something tomorrow [against the Maori]? Well, he keeps telling us he’s got something up his sleeve other than his arm. We will wait and see, won’t we? “He’s starting to run out of time to get it practised but I’ve always said once you have a style as a coach and it works for you, you usually stick with it. So it’s going to be a big move if he changes. We will wait and see.” The style of play Hansen expects from the Lions may be a far cry from the scintillating skills the All Blacks showed as they ran in 12 tries against Samoa but Hansen appears to think that is all the Lions have got and he took great delight in making that clear. Lions call on six replacements to provide cover for midweek games Read more “We’re sitting here, we’ve finished for the weekend, we’ve come out with no injuries, so we get to sit down and get really excited about what’s ahead of us. You wait 12 years for the Lions to come around so you don’t want to miss it. “We get to watch them play the New Zealand Maori side, who will throw the kitchen sink at them, so it will be a big game for the Lions again. Then all the banter is out of the way. I can’t wait.” Most expect the Lions to try for a set-piece tussle with the All Blacks. They will look to scrum and drive them into submission, hoping to strangle the life out of an attack that boasts some of the best runners with the ball in the game, many of them forwards. Hansen was happy to use that to bait Gatland further. “I’ve been here since 2004 and every year we get told we’re going to be targeted at the set piece. We will look forward to it, we’ll get ourselves ready for it and hopefully we will match them or be better.” Hansen was adamant the All Blacks would be better in the first Test and claimed both their skills and defence can be improved on. “It doesn’t matter who you play, if you can keep them to zero that’s pretty good. Same with the attack, it was a good start. “We have a critical few skill sets that we work to. They are the things we know if we do them well we have a chance of winning. If we get the critical things right, then we are in with a chanceTen new caps last weekend for England – but only the one this. Sam Underhill has been picked by Eddie Jones to start the second Test against Argentina at the Estadio Brigadier General Estanislao López. His inexperience, however, is counterbalanced by a rather more familiar proposition on the other flank of England’s scrum, where Chris Robshaw returns from injury to play his first Test in six months. “It’s great to welcome back Robshaw into the squad,” Jones said. “He has been one of England’s best players over the last two years and he will add a lot of experience and work rate into our back row. It will also be exciting to see Sam make his debut.” Owen Farrell ruled out of Lions match against Maori with thigh injury Read more The selections are harsh on the men who make way, Mark Wilson and Tom Curry, two of the new caps last weekend, who defied their inexperience to produce outstanding performances in the 38?34 victory in the first Adidas Lanny McDonald Womens Jersey Test. Wilson retires to the bench while Curry, who turned 19 on Thursday, the day his non-selection was announced, will have to wait for another opportunity to further his case. Underhill is not much older – 21 next month – so the battle for England’s No7 shirt, recently a question of who did not get the No6, looks set to become intense, all the more so with Curry’s twin brother, Ben, also on this tour. “He [Underhill] is a good defensive player and reads the game well,” Jones said. “Attack-wise, the Ospreys use him as a ball runner but I have seen him play a more natural No7 role. He is put together. He obviously decided from an early age he wanted to be a No7 and he has got the body.” Another making his first start is Piers Francis at inside centre, who impressed last weekend off the bench, whither Alex Lozowski is demoted. Francis, a 26?year?old from Kent, plays his rugby in New Zealand with the Blues, where he will return next week to finish the Super Rugby season before joining Northampton in the summer. In his case England have proved flexible with their selection policy, which renders ineligible those who play outside the country. Underhill, too, has been unavailable because of that policy, having played in Wales for the past two seasons while he studied economics at Cardiff University, but he is joining Bath after the tour. Notwithstanding, England have been investing in his future, deploying Richard Hill, England’s great flanker and now the team manager, to provide him with further seminars, these in the art of the back row. Advertisement Robshaw’s return helps improve England’s tally of caps in the starting team from the 345 of last week to 413. Dylan Hartley brings 86 of those to the party and will move clear of Lawrence Dallaglio and Rory Underwood into third place on England’s chart of cap-winners, nestled behind Jason Leonard and Jonny Wilkinson. At the other end of the experience spectrum, Jack Singleton, Hartley’s understudy, may yet become the second new cap of the day, having been the only player not to come on last Saturday. His chances of winning that cap will no doubt turn on the nature of the match. If the scores are tied with 15 minutes to go, like last time, Jones may be reluctant to replace 86 of his team’s caps with zero, all the more so if, as he expects, the game tightens up after the sun-kissed pyrotechnics of San Juan. “It’s going to be warm and humid, the ball might get slippery, so it may place more importance on the exiting and kicking game. We are prepared for both types of game. Argentina have lost 10 of their last 12 games, so they are going to be desperate. I am sure they are going to come out with enormous physicality. It will be another high-quality, high?pressure game and that’s what we need to keep developing towards the World Cup 

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