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Lions coach: We'll be better prepared than Springboks

<!--StartFragment--> BRITISH and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland has taunted South Africa by saying he expects his team to be in better shape than the Springboks come the first Test.<br /><br />The Lions extended their uneaten tour run to four matches with a 39-3 victory over Natal Sharks on Wednesday and will have played six games before they meet South Africa in Durban on 20 June.<br /><br />The hosts, meanwhile, will have had just one match in the run-up to the three-Test series, against a Namibian Invitation XV last month. &ldquo;What we are counting on going into that first Test is that maybe they will be a bit underdone. And that is traditionally what happens on tours like this,&rdquo; said forwards coach Gatland.<br /><br />&ldquo;The touring side has a couple of games under their belt and the home side is a little bit rusty and underdone for the first Test and that&rsquo;s your big opportunity to catch them a bit cold.<br /><br />&ldquo;Some of their players haven&rsquo;t played for four or five weeks. Even if you have been in the gym and training pretty hard you still need games under your belt.&rdquo;<br /><br />Springboks captain John Smit hit back at erstwhile Wales head coach Gatland by insisting they did not need the practice of playing together, while hinting that the Lions&rsquo;s hectic build-up could leave them tired.<br /><br />&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t think we are short of rugby and the core of this team has been together for a long time and we&rsquo;ve built some great combinations in that time,&rdquo; said Smit.<br /><br />&ldquo;I guess there are two trains of thought: you either play too much rugby and everyone says you&rsquo;re fatigued or you don&rsquo;t play and everyone says you&rsquo;re short of preparation.&rdquo;<br /><br />The Lions&rsquo; warm-up programme continues tomorrow when they clash with Western Province in Cape Town. <!--EndFragment-->