Deans feels Australia know just where the Lions’ strengths lie

 
Frank Dalleres
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AUSTRALIA head coach Robbie Deans believes he knows exactly what to expect from the British and Irish Lions when they tour Down Under this summer.

Deans expects Wales’s 30-3 dismantling of England in this year’s Six Nations decider to form the blueprint for Warren Gatland’s attempts to mastermind a first Lions series win since 1997.

“That was such a convincing result and from our perspective it was an insight into what’s coming, the nature of the game, the intensity, the pace of it,” said Deans. “We look at that as the benchmark. It was brutal and it was relentless for 80 minutes. It was a complete performance.”

Lions coach Gatland has named 14 of the Welshmen who started that Test against England in his 38-man party, including flanker Sam Warburton, who, at 24, is to be the team’s youngest captain. Deans, meanwhile, has hinted at a recall for Kurtley Beale, as the controversial back prepares to return from a five-week ban for punching Melbourne Rebels team-mates while on tour.

“If Kurtley’s fit and available and there’s no hurdles to clear then he’s selectable, but obviously he’s got to return to the playing field,” he said. “He’s been training over the last month, he’s worked very hard and he’s in good shape.”

LIONS IN AUSTRALIA

2001: Lost 2-1 (29-13, 14-35, 23-29)
1989: Won 2-1 (12-30, 19-12, 19-18)
1966: Won 2-0 (11-8, 31-0)
1959: Won 2-0 (17-6, 24-3)
1950: Won 2-0 (19-6, 24-3)
1930: Lost 1-0 (5-6)
1904: Won 3-0 (17-0, 17-3, 16-0)
1899: Won 3-1 (3-13, 11-0, 11-10, 13-0)