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Farrell's roadmap to success with the British and Irish Lions in 2025

Farrell's roadmap to success with the British and Irish Lions in 2025

All BlacksJanuary 15, 2024

Experiences gained in and against New Zealand while coaching his Ireland side to a 2-1 series victory over the All Blacks in 2022 and at last year's Rugby World Cup will be drivers for incoming British & Irish Lions coach Andy Farrell.

Farrell has been appointed coach for the side's tour of Australia, which includes a game against an Anzac XV in 2025. They will play each of Australia's five Super Rugby Pacific sides and three Tests.

Speaking for the first time since the quarterfinal loss to the All Blacks at the World Cup in France, Farrell said the lesson was, "It can't just be down to fine margins or the bounce of the ball, or luck. You've got to cover more bases than that and fight harder to ensure you're successful.

"To play some good rugby and play some fighting rugby that everyone wants to see and get behind, blah, blah, blah is all well and good, but you've got to stay with it for the duration. This is a duration tour."

Farrell said there was nothing bittersweet about the World Cup loss to New Zealand.

"It's not bitter, you just learn. It's just life, isn't it? You get on with it and try to get better."

He is confident Australia will have recovered from the disappointments of 2023. From his time as a rugby league player and through rugby experiences, he understands what will lie ahead.

"I know Australia more than most – the Australian psyche, personnel, what it's like to tour there.

"I've grown up in Australia quite a bit as far as my career is concerned, and I know what this tour will mean to Australians."

All Blacks coaching team assembled 🤝#AllBlacks pic.twitter.com/FKqvlHXZN7

— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) January 9, 2024

Farrell said of his New Zealand tour experience in 2022, "We took that tour on and made it the tour it was to test people because it would make us stronger as a group, and it 100 per cent did.

"Not just after the tour, but during the tour.

"It  is such a long, tough, taxing tour and the pressure that is going to come along the way is going to make you stronger as a group."

Farrell will benefit from an earlier-than-usual finish to the Premiership in England to give him time to have the Lions better prepared for Australia. They will also have a pre-tour game against Argentina in Dublin.

"There are no excuses not to be ready for that first Test [on June 19] but that is not to say you can't pick yourself up off the floor. If you can't you are the wrong type of character anyway."

His Ireland side came back from a first Test loss to the All Blacks to claim their series win over New Zealand.

"In its purest form, a three-match Test series is extra special because you often see a team that gets up for the first Test. There is confidence and momentum that goes with that. But the side that has lost is fighting for its life, and you see they can deal with that type of pressure.

"That is what ultimately it is all about and the type of personnel we have got has to be able to flourish in that environment. And then you see whoever wins the second Test, you see whether they have the minerals to take it to the type of performance when it really matters," he said.

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