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Lions must take on All Blacks in the loose - Winterbottom

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    19 Apr 2017     Getty Images

Before the 1983 tour by the Lions, Winterbottom, who also toured in 1993, came out and played eight games for Hawke's Bay in the national provincial championship and knows all about the New Zealand loose forward game.

"You need back row forwards who are in there all the time, in the mix, on the ball, being a pain, causing trouble," Winterbottom told The Rugby Player.

"They've got to have enough dog in them. You don't want blokes who get knocked off the ball. You need that aggression, blokes who are going to fight for it," he said.

Players would not only need to be able to tackle, but they would have to be able to put pressure on at the breakdown.

"You have to be strong and cause them problems in that area especially, and not allow them to dominate, because if you give New Zealand quick ball they would create continuous try opportunities," Winterbottom said.

Disrupting the All Blacks while also taking the game to them was vital and Winterbottom's choice of players to do that was Wales' Sam Warburton on the open-side, Ireland's CJ Stander on the blindside and England's Billy Vunipola at No.8.

"Stander's defence is pretty good and he's a barnstorming carrier. He's not the biggest blindside but he makes ground against the best defences.

"Warburton should be at seven because when he gets his hands on the ball at the breakdown he doesn't shift. He can also be put up in the quickly and is a useful lineout option.

"Billy Vunipola gives you go-forward, and on form he's been a handful," he said.

Winterbottom did not believe the All Blacks loosies were invulnerable.

"Sam Cane is not Richie McCaw, and neither he nor [Kieran] Read are massive men, and although Jerome Kaino is a big blindside, he's getting on, and Liam Squire is still inexperienced. It is an area where we can really compete," he said.

Winterbottom also believes that two Irish flankers should be part of the squad. Sean O'Brian and Peter O'Mahony were two players capable of causing problems for the All Blacks. And he believed Taulupe Faletau should be the back-up No.8 in the side.