Watch: 'People expect them to win' - Steve Hansen starts mind games with Warren Gatland ahead of Lions tour

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1 NEWS

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen appears to already be making a start on the mind games between himself and Lions coach Warren Gatland ahead of the arrival of the touring side in June.

Hansen has got a shot in early as the mind games begin ahead of the eagerly awaited tour.
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The Kiwi coach says it's important the Lions players 'get an understanding of NZ, the people, their humour'.
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The Lions will head to New Zealand in search of their first Test match win over the All Blacks since 1993, with Hansen ramping up pressure on his opponents before they even arrive in the country.

"It's going to be a very good side that come with a lot of expectation," Hansen told 1 NEWS.

"It'll be interesting to see how they cope with that... People expect them to win."

When asked about whether or not the Lions will try and play an expansive, attacking game against the All Blacks, Hansen was his usual, witty, self in placing pressure on his opposites.

"I think they'll tell us they will (play expansively).

"I think they'll try and beat us up first."

Hansen also spoke about the make up of Gatland's side, saying that he knows what he'll be up against come kick off at Eden Park on June 24.

"It's pretty much what you'd expect from Warren, he likes his big ball carriers in the middle of the park."

"I'd expect we'll get a similar game style to what we've always got when we've played a Warren Gatland team." 

The All Blacks coach wasn't surprised by the naming of the Lions squad, but doesn't expect an easy series.
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However, Hansen also spoke frankly when revealing that there were no real surprises from the 41-man playing group selected by Gatland, adamant they will provide his All Blacks side with one of their greatest challenges to date.

"I think this is the best British and Irish Lions side that we've seen come here for a long, long time," 

"It's going to be a very good side that come with a lot of expectation."

The Lions begin their tour with a match against a New Zealand provincial Barbarians team in Whangarei on June 3.

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