Jamie George insists the British and Irish Lions have no fear of New Zealand and fired the All Blacks a warning shot with their .
Maro Itoje’s score, a penalty try and 20 points from Leigh Halfpenny’s unerring boot sunk the Maori All Blacks in Rotorua on Saturday.
The Lions’ brutal set-piece dominance underpinned their throttling Maori win, and George backed the tourists to turn the screw against the All Blacks in Saturday’s first Test.
Asked if the Lions had sent a message to New Zealand, George said: “Yes I think so; all the extra stuff, all the talk about the All Blacks, we are still developing as a team and are still finding our identity.
“I think we are really pushing towards doing something special and I think we did put down a marker with the way we played and the way that we defended and our set-piece in general. All in all, we are pretty happy with it.”
Asked how he will respond to facing New Zealand for the first time, an unmoved George said: “I just play whoever is in front of me, to be honest.
“We have played against very good teams. I was involved in the Barbarians game, the Crusaders and the Maori game.
“It’s very physical rugby, very fast rugby, but I am not going to be intimidated by any one of them and I’ll look forward to it.”
Assistant coach Steve Borthwick dished out a fiery pre-match talk to the Lions in Rotorua, according to George.
“He understands exactly what the team needs, whether we need a rile up or a calm down,” said George.
“He finds that balance really nicely and speaks brilliantly and the lads are loving working with him.
“Before a match, he does put us under pressure. That’s the way he likes to coach and if it’s not good enough then he’s going to tell us about it.
“He demands high standards and is very intricate with his detail. That’s the sort of bloke that he is.
“If you look at teams who have done well against the All Blacks – Ireland in Chicago – they put them under pressure in the set-piece.
“Steve Borthwick and Graham Rowntree are putting us under some pressure in training. We know we need to improve but we’re really happy with the direction it’s going. George Kruis did a fantastic job in leading that.”