Warren Gatland questions travel arrangements after worrying Lions performance

The Lions Head Coach says players are still adjusting their sleep patterns to the new time zone

BY Sinéad Farrell 16:20 Saturday 3 June 2017, 16:20 3 Jun 2017

David Davies/PA Wire/PA Images

Lions Head Coach Warren Gatland has questioned the timing of his team's travel arrangements following their narrow escape against the New Zealand Provincial Barbarians.

Gatland's charges stuttered to a 13-7 victory against the local side, which triggered a deluge of criticism for their timid performance.

The British and Irish Lions only arrived in Auckland on Wednesday, just three days before the first of their 10-Test tour.

Gatland argues that his panel would have benefited from a longer settling in period, to recover from the jet lag and adjust to the new time zone.

Speaking to the Telegraph, he said:

"We'd have preferred to have a week in the UK with the squad and a week in New Zealand. We've known about the schedule for 12 months and it's difficult to change that.


Image: Ross Moriarty in action for the British and Irish Lions. Pictured Credit: David Davies/PA Wire/PA Images

"I think that the powers that be in four years' time will think about the schedule and the importance of having the right preparation and the right time.

"We ran the non-23 players this morning and they had a real blow-out because a number of them are still struggling to sleep. 

"So we knew it was going to be difficult in terms of adjusting to that and preparing in such a short period. Ross Moriarty has got a back spasm, and so has Kyle Sinckler.

Gatland went on to point out that his players were fulfilling community obligations yesterday, which he believes contributed to the fatigue.

"We did community stuff yesterday where the guys have been sitting in cars for five hours, coming up (to Whangarei) and are probably still recovering from the effects of that flight as well."

"You've got to try and adjust as quickly as possible and we hope over the next couple of days that everyone gets into a cycle so as to feel fresh and acclimatised."


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