Thursday, January 20

Jamie George is confident that the Saracen Lions contingent can make an immediate impact | British and Irish lions

Jamie George believes the Saracens’ British and Irish Lions contingent will have an immediate impact after reinforcing the team in Jersey thanks to a specially designed physical conditioning regimen at his club, with the England hooker ready to be put directly into it. team to face Japan in Murrayfield.

George arrived at pre-tour camp for the Lions in Jersey on Monday, along with clubmates Owen Farrell, Maro Itoje, Mako Vunipola and Elliot Daly, 24 hours after cementing the Saracens’ return to the Premiership. Finn Russell also arrived on Monday, while Kyle Sinckler and Tom Curry teamed up on Sunday, leaving the Exeter foursome as the only players still absent.

Warren Gatland will name his team for the preparation game against Japan on Saturday in what will give the first glimpse of his plans for the South Africa tour. The majority of the 23-man squad will be made up of players who arrived in Jersey eight days ago, but George is also ready to appear, probably from the bench.

With Luke Cowan-Dickie still absent, Ken Owens was the only prostitute on the tour to participate in Jersey until George’s arrival. Gatland called on Irishman Ronan Kelleher to help him in practice, but it is understood that he will not be involved against Japan, paving the way for George to enter the squad directly. Russell or Farrell are also expected to be part of the 23.

George and the rest of the Saracen contingent were below average during England’s dismal Six Nations campaign, raising questions about their readiness for the Lions tour. However, after the Saracens lost their first game of the championship campaign, the five played far more minutes since March than expected. And George believes the second tier has produced physical challenges similar to those awaiting South Africa, revealing that Saracens director of performance Phil Morrow, who was attached to the Lions for the 2017 tour of New Zealand, also made sure. that they left for Jersey in the best position. condition.

“I said all the time that many of the games [in the Championship] they are as physical as many of the games that we are going to play, especially in the front five, “said George. “We have been very lucky to have someone like Phil Morrow. He’s headlining our performance and was on the Lions tour before. He knows what it takes to be physically and mentally well to go on that tour. We have been very lucky that you have been adapting our program to make sure we get to work. The main thing will be to catch up in terms of plays and calls to the lineout, but we are on a tour of the Lions, I’m going to do my homework and be as prepared as possible. “

Lions defense coach Steve Tandy is also confident that the Saracen quintet will not be badly done after a season in the Championship and hopes they will catch up soon. “The Saracens players have experience touring the Lions, winning European Cups and Premierships, and they know what it takes to connect the group,” he said. “They will certainly be prepared. They also played in the Six Nations, so there is no question that they will be completely ready to play. “

Meanwhile, Bundee Aki is also hoping to be selected Tuesday after being among surprise inclusions in the 37-man starting squad. In his teens, Aki finished his career and took a job in a bank to support his family in his native New Zealand, but is now ready to represent the British & Irish Lions after they convinced him to return to the sport. 10 years ago.

“At that time I had a newborn and I had to make a decision about whether I wanted to pursue a career in rugby,” he said. “At the end of the day, it’s about my family and my children, so I had to make that sacrifice in order to support my family. I would not change anything “.

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