The Lions travel to New Zealand this summer with a 'slim chance' of beating the All Blacks according to Paul O'Connell. Even to have that minor possibility of defeating Steven Hansen's side, O'Connell believes players will have to produce the best form of their careers.
O'Connell has vast experience Lions experience. He was involved in three tours, the first being the disastrous tour of New Zealand under Clive Woodward in 2005. He also played four tests for Ireland against the All Blacks in New Zealand. He's as well-placed as anyone to relate it's like to play down there.
Speaking on 2FM's Game On on Wednesday, O'Connell explained that one factor which makes touring New Zealand so tough is the claustrophobic feeling which it generates.
It’s a difficult place to tour. The weather isn’t going to be amazing down there. You could say we should be used to that, but the weather isn’t great. It’s going to be quite claustrophobic from a rugby point of view.
You can be on a Lions tour in a place like Sydney and there’s a whole lot to do outside the Lions tour. You can get away from it quite easily.
The weather is really good, it’s a great city to be in; the same in Melbourne. Different places in South Africa are the same. New Zealand, from that point of view, is going to be really difficult.
It’s going to be a really, really tough tour. I think it’s probably the ultimate achievement in rugby to go and win a Test series in New Zealand.