The Alternative Commentary Collective return for Lions tour of New Zealand

They're coming - and we don't mean Warren Gatland and the British and Irish Lions.

In fact, the tourists have probably got no idea what they are in for with The Alternative Commentary Collective (known to fans as the ACC) are once again swapping stumps for set pieces as they put their game calling experience to use during the upcoming Lions series.

From Gatland through captain Sam Warburton, the tourists will undoubtedly be bemused - or agitated - by the irreverent nicknames they are likely to get from the likes of Matt Heath, Jeremy Wells and Mike Lane.

The trio joke that because "like all other Kiwis" they have missed out on tickets to the Lions games, they intend to take matters into their own hands and "work out a way to get free drinks at the same time.

The end result is that the infamous ACC commentary caravan will be parking up in a nearby pub for five of the key Lions matches.

The team are inviting "equally unlucky punters" to join them.

Lane said he is "mildly terrified at the thought people might be vaguely interested in hanging out with them and being punished by their commentary".

"Last year we hosted Champagne Rugby live events for the All Blacks-Wales series and it was a real eye opener into what professional sports broadcasters must go through every week. Just small things such as having to drink champagne at every set piece and having to remember all the player nicknames"

Wells, who describes himself as a "former 3rd XV lock and huge fan of the set piece", believes that the ACC is basically throwing the biggest fan event for each of the games.

"We are pretty free with our affections here at The ACC so we are encouraging everyone and anyone to join us for these live events - the tickets won't cost you anything at all but they will be freely available to win from The ACC and Radio Hauraki"

The team intend to create a party atmosphere around their commentaries including the presence of musician DJ A-Hole and also an on-site tattoo artist.

The ACC call will be played simultaneously on iHeartRadio and, for the first time ever, live on Radio Hauraki.

There are also and additional five episodes of Champagne Rugby to be released.

"Scotty Stevenson from Sky TV will once again be in the 'Social Media Testicle' answering the big questions," said Lane. "Scotty J has also been promoted to Commentary Mentor, a job he neither wanted nor asked for."

Lane promises this season will be above average but remains tight lipped on what listeners can expect.

"I've already had an argument with Matt Heath. I can't say much for legal reasons but it involves this tour's Match Predictor Winner, some root vegetables and Scotty J Stevenson," he said with typical straight face.

Game dates and locations

Saturday 10 June
Crusaders v. Lions - The Cuban, Christchurch

Saturday 17 June
Maori All Blacks v. Lions - Ambrosia, Rotorua

Saturday 24 June
All Blacks v. Lions - The Kings Arms, Auckland

Saturday 1 July
All Blacks v. Lions - Danger Danger, Wellington

Saturday 8 July
All Blacks v. Lions - The Kings Arms, Auckland

- NZ Herald

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