Graham Henry on Lions Tour: The most difficult itinerary in the history of the game

The tourists are due to face all five Super Rugby franchises

BY Simon Maguire 16:02 Sunday 28 May 2017, 16:02 28 May 2017

Picture by: David Davies/PA Archive/PA Images

Former Lions and All Black coach Graham Henry believes the tourists schedule this summer could hinder their chances in the test series. 

Henry led the squad to Australia in 2001 to take on the then World Champions. An exciting test series saw Brian O'Driscoll introduce himself to southern hemisphere audiences with 'that' try at the Gabba in Brisbane in the first test.

The hosts turned it around though and won both remaining tests to claim a 2-1 series win.

The New Zealander went on to coach his national side to Rugby World Cup success in 2011 on home soil despite overseeing their quarter-final exit against France in 2007.

Brian O'Driscoll makes a break against Australia. Picture by: Phil Walter/EMPICS Sport

Speaking in the New Zealand Herald ahead of this summer's tour, he said: "It is certainly the most difficult itinerary in the history of the game. 

"I don't know who arranges these things but I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be a coach or a player. I just hope it doesn't impact on the tour because these are the best two teams in the world going head to head.

"It is a hugely stimulating prospect, for everyone here in New Zealand as well as round the world. Rugby needs this to be a real contest. It is a major worry for the sport that Australia and South Africa have fallen away so much and so quickly."

The Lions are due to face all five Super Rugby franchises as well as the New Zealand Maori while attempting to win only their second ever test series against the All Blacks. 

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