Prepare for an onslaught, warns Geech

BRITISH and Irish Lions coach Ian McGeechan insists this summer&rsquo;s tour of South Africa will be more difficult than when he last triumphed there 12 years ago.<br /><br />The Scot famously led the Lions to a 2-1 victory over the hosts back in 1997 to follow up his success there as a player 23 years previous.<br /><br />But in a press conference to mark the team&rsquo;s arrival in Johannesburg yesterday, McGeechan warned that the world champions will be a tough nut to crack and desperately seeking revenge.<br /><br />&ldquo;Yes, it will be hugely more difficult,&rdquo; the former Wasps director of rugby said. &ldquo;South African rugby is in very good shape &ndash; the structures with the Super 14, the players who have come through that, a settled Springbok side with a very good captain a very strong coaching team.<br /><br />&ldquo;So, having come through from a World Cup, I think they&rsquo;ve established themselves post that and that stability at international level is very important.&rdquo; He added: &ldquo;There are a lot of players hitting form at the right time. It shows there&rsquo;s a lot of players in good form.&rdquo;<br /><br />The Lions kick off their tour with a game against a Royal XV in Rustenburg on Saturday &ndash; the first of ten games in total with the highlight being the three Tests with the Springboks.<br /><br />McGeechan, of course, has experienced South African hospitality twice before, and insists motivating his 36-man squad will not be a problem for a Touyr of this calibre.<br /><br />&ldquo;To come to a country where rugby has always been number one and so important, raises your own ambitions,&rdquo; he said.&ldquo;I never knew any easy grounds and I don&rsquo;t anticipate any on this tour either.&rdquo;