6 Jan 2013

Lions' Gatland hoping Deans does a favour

6:02 pm on 6 January 2013

TheBritish and Irish Lions rugby coach Warren Gatland is counting on Australian counterpart Robbie Deans allowing the Wallabies to play in the touring side's lead-up games to their three-Test series in June.

Gatland's team will tune up with clashes against four of the five Australian Super Rugby teams before their opening Test against the Wallabies in Brisbane on June 22.

Gatland says he wants his troops battle-hardened and that's why they chose to face Super sides rather than run up cricket scores against lesser opponents.

But that requires the cooperation of Deans and the Australian Rugby Union in allowing the Wallabies to play for their Super Rugby teams en masse, something Gatland says the Lions didn't really get on their last tour to South Africa in 2009 when he was an assistant to Ian McGeechan.