Lions missed out on beating All Blacks due to lack of preparation
By Mark Ashenden
Last Updated: 09/07/17 8:02pm
The British and Irish Lions would have won their Test series in New Zealand with just one more week's preparation.
That's the opinion of the team's tour manager John Spencer who is determined to increase the amount of time the famed touring outfit have to get ready for future tours.
Warren Gatland's squad drew the series against the All Blacks with Saturday's thrilling 15-15 draw at Eden Park having flown out to New Zealand just two days after the Premiership and PRO12 play-off finals.
Spencer insists the Lions are making progress on convincing rugby's global administrators to add an extra week's preparation to future tours.
Which Lions impressed?
Have your say on which British and Irish Lions impressed in the 15-15 draw with the All Blacks at Eden Park.
Asked if the Lions would have beaten the world champions with another seven days of build-up, Spencer said: "My honest opinion is yes; the preparation is extremely important.
"But I think we're making very positive steps already, to talk about and rectify that situation. I've received incredible cooperation from the board on that, and there are four of us who are ex-Lions there who know about the intensity and preparation.
"What I would say is that gold medals are won on the training pitch a long time before they are won on the match pitch."
Spencer also paid tribute to the efforts of Gatland, whose Wales contract expires after the 2019 World Cup in Japan.
The All Blacks have already admitted the 53-year-old is on their shortlist as a replacement for head coach Steve Hansen who steps down in two years.
"Set a Kiwi to catch a Kiwi," added Spencer, assessing Gatland's job as Lions boss on the 2017 tour.
"You have to be a very shrewd coach to come to New Zealand and achieve what the players achieved.
"I will tell you without doubt I think Warren Gatland is the best head coach in the world."
Gatland has now led the Lions to a series victory in Australia in 2013, and a drawn campaign with New Zealand this summer.