GAVIN RICH: Lions’ rout shows threat diluted teams hold to provinces’ viability
Without Bok stars provincial and regional outfits are less likely to re-engage support
British & Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland should not have been entirely happy with the ease with which his team won their opening tour game but his concerns should not match the level of concern there should be among those South Africans who worry about the strength of local rugby.
Gatland should be concerned because, as he has already admitted, a lack of stiff opposition before the first Test could lead his team to be underprepared for the ferocity of the Springbok assault. Gatland was assistant coach the last time the Lions were here in 2009 and he agrees the Lions were caught out then because of the easy games they played in the build-up. The Boks effectively won that series in the first half of the opening Test in Durban...