Jonathan Joseph lifts lid on first British and Irish Lions training week
Last Updated: 20/05/17 5:33pm
England centre Jonathan Joseph has revealed the Lions are focused and gelling well after the first week in camp.
Joseph was among 14 players taking part in a training camp in Wales this week, with almost two-thirds of the squad absent due to domestic and European play-off commitments.
With the 41-man squad setting off to New Zealand on May 29, a second get-together takes place next week in Ireland, and Joseph said feels fortunate to have had a head start on several others.
"We are fortunate to have this week," the 25-year-old told Sky Sports News HQ. "There's no doubt about that but competition for places is going to be right up there throughout. We're very happy to be here right now and the conditioning we have already done puts us in good stead.
"It's been a tough week for us - straight away we're doing conditioning and getting up to speed with all the players but the boys are great, the coaches are great and everyone's got on really well this week."
Joseph has scored an impressive 16 tries in 33 Tests for his country and was another major attacking force as England secured their second consecutive Six Nations title in March, albeit without winning the Grand Slam.
Despite being one of the form centres, media speculation raged that Joseph would be left out of the squad four weeks ago, but his name was read out and he is under no illusions how tough a task is ahead.
"In training we know we have got to go to a place we have never been before," he added.
"We have got to put ourselves under a huge amount of pressure so that is what we started to do last week and I am sure we'll do this week and gradually build into it as the tour goes on.
"When you are out on the pitch you are very focused on the here and now and what you have got to do so you don't really think about the injuries.
"Maybe late at night you might but once you are on the field it's about being fully focused on what you are about to do.
"Just getting to know everyone that's there. You are always a bit sceptical to meet new people but everyone gets on really well and everyone's had a really good time so far."