The Lions beat the Maori All Blacks on Saturday
British and Irish Lions Head Coach Warren Gatland is pleased with the challenging build-up to the three test series against New Zealand.
The hosts threw down the gauntlet when they scheduled fixtures against all five Super Rugby franchises as part of the tour, as well as a match with the New Zealand Maori.
Lions' Sean O'Brien with Damian McKenzie of the Maori All Blacks. Image: ©INPHO/Photosport/Andrew Cornaga
The limited preparation time had seen many suggest the trip could turn into a "Tour from Hell" but Gatland's men have turned a few heads in New Zealand.
Speaking after the comprehensive win over the New Zealand Maori on Saturday, Gatland said: "We're benefiting from that experience against the teams and the quality of the sides we're playing.
"You know, hopefully, that sets us up for the first test next week. By the looks of it, hopefully, it's going to be a cracking series."
The Lions head to Hamilton to play the Waikato Chiefs on Tuesday before the test series against the world champions, New Zealand, begins next weekend.