Owen Farrell rebuffs claims British & Irish Lions will be underprepared

• Farrell insists Lions’ world-class players will be ready for tour start
• ‘We’ll be on the same page. This squad can challenge anyone’

Owen Farrell insists the British & Irish Lions will not arrive in New Zealand underprepared despite taking off just two days after the end of the domestic season as part of a gruelling tour schedule that has come in for fierce criticism of late.

The Lions fly from Heathrow on Monday and land on Wednesday – stopping overnight in Melbourne – leaving only three days to prepare for the tour opener against the New Zealand Barbarians. In all, Warren Gatland’s troops play 10 matches in six weeks – a schedule labelled “suicidal” by Sir Graham Henry, the 2001 Lions coach and 2011 World Cup winner with New Zealand – and gathered together as a whole squad for just the second time on Sunday.

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