Lions' preparation intensifies

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    26 May 2017     Getty Images

During their first week of training only 14 players were available due to club commitments, but this week there had been 27 players involved.
"It has been a different level. You ask the most experienced lads that have been in these squads before and they'll tell you the quality has been exceptional. That helps with our preparation for the speed of the games we'll be involved in," Farrell told

The Lions will assemble for their departure to New Zealand early next week and the surprise losses by Saracens and Leinster in their respective play-offs meant the squad had been bolstered earlier than expected.

"We expected a few less numbers than we had. We've been able to get more advancement with our plan," he said.

"We finished off the week today with a session trying to put everything together that we've built over the last two weeks, and the intensity was there, as you would expect, and the competition was there, as you would expect."

Injury concerns have ease. First five-eighths Jonathan Sexton has been able to engage in full training while flanker Sean O'Brien's calf injury was improving.

"When you get the calibre of player that we've had come in and everyone is trying to show how much homework they've done with the new systems et cetera, then you see people come to the forefront and you see leadership coming out in people," Farrell said.

Players were training hard during the day and sorting things out on their computers to make sure they were absorbing as much as possible in a short space of time.

"What tends to happen in this type of environment, because of the class of player that you're working with, they tend to get it very quickly," he said.

Meanwhile, Welsh and Lions lock Alun Wyn Jones has some items missing from his rugby CV and beating the All Blacks is one of them.

Wyn Jones told The Daily Telegraph that is something he needs to get sorted.

He acknowledged the Lions were going to face one of 'the most rounded' rugby teams of all time but having been part of the Lions team that beat Australia four years ago, he wants more.

Also on his list is winning the 2019 Rugby World Cup and more success in European competitions with his Ospreys team.

But the immediate target is the All Blacks.

"We are playing the most rounded team that has ever existed," he said.

"Two World Cup wins, unbeaten at Eden Park for 23 years, one loss in something like 30 games for their Super Rugby franchises."