We're ready to bash the 'Boks, says coach Geech

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H Ian McGeechan leads his British and Irish Lions side into the crunch first Test with South Africa tomorrow insisting preparation could not have gone any better.<br /><br />Tuesday&rsquo;s bruising 20-8 success over the Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth ensured the Lions arrive in Durban with six provincial victories out of six under their belts &ndash; the first Lions unbeaten warm-up record since the 1989 tour of Australia.<br /><br />McGeechan yesterday named his starting XV for the clash with the world champions in Durban, admitting he had deliberated for hours on a number of difficult positional calls. But McGeechan insisted he felt encouraged by his selection headache and heaped praise on his players for making his decision such a difficult one. <br /><br />&ldquo;The Test team has been picked on form following the six provincial matches,&rdquo; he explained. &ldquo;There were some very difficult calls to make as the players as a group and individually have done everything that we have asked of them and performed on the field. It has been 20 years since a Lions team has won all of its provincial matches leading up to the Test series so it is very satisfying to be in such a position. The entire squad and the management have worked hard to create an outstanding team environment. Everyone has done this very professionally and it is fair to say that I would not change anything that we have done so far.&rdquo;<br /><br />Despite the encouraging preparation, McGeechan is fully aware as to the task that awaits his side. &ldquo;There&rsquo;s no doubt South Africa are probably the best team in the world at the moment, they&rsquo;re very talented, have a settled coaching team and play quite a varied game, from strength and power to subtlety and speed &ndash; we&rsquo;re under no illusions how good they are.&rdquo;<br /><br />McGeechan was also forced into making yet another squad alteration yesterday after Munster and Ireland prop John Hayes was drafted in to replace Scotland&rsquo;s Euan Murray, who has been ruled out for the rest of the tour with an ankle injury, sustained in victory over the Kings.<br /><br />Hayes, who has won 94 caps for his country, is in contention for the final midweek game against the Emerging Springboks on Tuesday.