London - England coach Eddie Jones said the British and
Irish Lions will "struggle" to beat the All Blacks in their
three-Test series because of the tactics of their coach, Warren Gatland.
Jones said the Lions, who are expected to favour Gatland's
"Warrenball" approach of powerful, direct running, must win the first
Test on June 24 or be prepared for a "tough old series".
"It is going to be very tough for them mate,"
Jones told the London Telegraph's Full Contact podcast.
"They have picked a certain style of team based on the
influence of the Welsh coaches. So I think they are looking to attack like
Wales with big, gain line runners with not much ball movement.
"I think you struggle to beat the All Blacks like
Gatland, who is Wales's head coach, led the Lions to a 2-1
victory over Australia on their last tour in 2013.
The New Zealander has Wales's Rob Howley and Neil Jenkins in
his backroom staff, along with England's Steve Borthwick, Andy Farrell and
"The All Blacks are not only a physical contest, it is
a big mental contest," warned Jones, who orchestrated five wins over New
Zealand when he was coach of Australia.
"You have to be very disciplined in the way you play,
you've got to chip away at them.
"You've got to keep the pressure on, you've got to
exert pressure in areas that they don't like, which is traditionally the close
set-piece play but then have the ability when you create opportunities, to turn
that into points.
"Ireland did it really well and I think the Lions are
going to struggle. If they win the first Test, they win the series. If they
don't, I think it might be a tough old series for them."
Gatland has said he takes inspiration from Ireland's shock
victory over New Zealand in Chicago last year, which halted a world-record run
of 18 straight victories.
Jones added that while Gatland's Wales play to a
"system", his England side - who have won the last two Six Nations -
"play much more with our eyes open" and try to stay alive to
The Lions, whose only Test series victory in New Zealand was
in 1971, arrive on Wednesday at the start of a nearly six-week tour.