Third Test: New Zealand v British and Irish LionsVenue: Eden Park, Auckland Date: Saturday, 8 July Kick-off: 08:35 BSTCoverage: Live text commentary on the BBC Sport website and app. Listen to post-match reaction on the Lions Social, 11:00 BST, BBC Radio 5 live.
Wales lock Alun Wyn Jones says the British and Irish Lions can win the Test series by “enjoying” the decider against New Zealand on Saturday.
The teams are level 1-1 after the tourists’ in Wellington.
The 31-year-old Jones is set to play his ninth Test for the Lions at Eden Park, Auckland, the most by a player in the professional era.
He said: “We’ve really got to make sure we enjoy it. We will get the best out of everyone if we do enjoy it.”
Jones played in all three Tests against South Africa in 2009, when the Lions lost 2-1, and again when they beat Australia 2-1 in 2013.
Legendary Ireland Lock Willie John McBride tops the Lions’ Test appearance list with 17 in five tours from 1962 to 1974, when he led the only unbeaten team in the tourists’ history.
Leading Lions Test cap holdersPlayerHome NationCapsWillie John McBride, lock, 1962-1974Ireland17Dickie Jeeps, scrum-half, 1955-1962England13Mike Gibson, centre, 1966-1971Ireland12Graham Price, prop, 1977-1983Wales12Gareth Edwards, scrum-half, 1968-1974Wales10Tony O’Reilly, wing, 1955-1959Ireland10RH Williams, lock, 1955-1959Wales10
Jones skippered the Lions in the third and deciding Test against Australia in 2013 when tour captain Sam Warburton was injured.
He played in the 2017 Lions’ opening Test defeat and the leveller last weekend to leave him as one of 17 players with eight Lions caps. Others on eight include Sir Ian McGeechan, JPR Williams, Brian O’Driscoll and Jeremy Guscott.
Wales prop legend Graham Price appeared in 12 consecutive Lions Tests from 1977-1983. If Jones plays in the game at Eden Park he will have also have appeared in every Test on three successive Lions tours.
Jones says just as the Lions responded to their first Test defeat, the All Blacks will look to do likewise as they seek to ensure Warren Gatland’s class of 2017 do not match the feat of the 1971 Lions, who won their four-match series 2-1 with the last game drawn.
“At this stage of the tour, you have to enjoy the moment, but it’s a level series, which is all it is at the minute,” said Jones.
“We need to build and be ready for what they’ve got next week.
“We know the intensity with what’s at stake will go up again like it did four years ago, and very little will change.
“When you quantify intensity… is it being accurate? Is it keeping them down?
“Is it not putting the ball out dead? I think if we can do all these things and maintain that intensity for a longer period, it should go some way towards improving our performance.”
Jones says he and his fellow forwards have responded to the challenges posed in New Zealand.
He said: “If you look at the games we’ve played previously, probably the Crusaders game in particular (the Lions won 12-3 on 10 June), we showed elements of what we can do as a pack,” Wales skipper Jones added.
“We had to answer questions again, and on the back of those comments (criticism of pack) last week, I felt we did that.”