Lions relieved to be getting on with the "real business"

The tourists have touched down in New Zealand ahead of this summer's clashes against the All Blacks

British and Irish Lions

Image: David Davies/PA Wire/PA Images

The tourists have touched down.

The British and Irish Lions have finally landed in New Zealand, having travelled via Dubai and after a quick stop off in Melbourne upon medical advice.

Warren Gatland's panel begin their tour against the New Zealand Provincial Barbarians this weekend and captain Sam Warburton admits it's good to finally get underway.

"It's nice to finally be here," he said at Wednesday's press conference. "There's been a lot of talking ever since the start of the season.

"It's great that we're here and that the tour is underway. When the first game gets underway on Saturday, they start coming thick and fast.

"The good thing is you don't have a lot of time to think about the games as you normally would when you head into an international week when you join the squad on Monday and train right through to the game on Saturday."

Tour manager John Spencer echoed these sentiments, saying he was happy the team are ready to get down to some "real business" against the Kiwis.

"It's a relief to be here to be honest. It's a relief to get some action in for both the administrative staff and the boys. Everyone is fully focused on the camp after the domestic finals.

"A lot have been training hard and I think we're all relived to be here to get on with the real business."

British and Irish Lions rugby team watch as a maori warrior leads a haka on their arrival at Auckland, on Wednesday. The begin their 13th rugby tour of New Zealand, facing possibly their toughest schedule as they attempt to achieve only their second test series victory over the All Blacks 47 years after the first. Image: Brett Phibbs/New Zealand Herald via AP

The pair addressed the media in Auckland and Warburton admitted he isn't too fussed about how the Lions get their wins, so long as they do just that.

"I don’t care how we win. If we won every game 3-0 I’d bite your arm off. It’s all about winning at this level.

"It’s nice from a spectator’s point of view to have lots of tries, but I’d take a win all day long."

At least 23 of those travelling to New Zealand will have begin their Lions campaign this weekend, with the squad for Saturday's game set to be announced tonight. 

Warburton was the final member of the Lions squad to play in Australia four years ago - as he was held back until the third game following a knee injury.

The flanker says he's ready to go this time.

"I get pretty jazzed when I see the red jerseys coming back from the laundry all nice and clean. You want to get it in your kit-bag and say you've played for them on this tour."

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