What stands out straight away when I look at the British and Irish Lions squad is the strength of their pack, but Warren Gatland's team have to be careful they don't focus too much on trying to smash the All Blacks up front.

They need an attacking ambition if they are to win the series - an intent like that shown by Ireland in Chicago last year when the men in green scored five tries in a stunning performance.

There is no doubt they have the goalkicking talent to keep their score ticking over, but they won't win it solely with the boots of Owen Farrell, Leigh Halfpenny and Johnny Sexton. They have to get the balance right - starting with a pack who can play a bit. They have the makings.

I don't think they will get stuck like they did in 2005 when they tried to arm wrestle the All Blacks. They have to want to get around the field and not become obsessed with the set piece. With hookers Rory Best and Jamie George you can see they have been prepared to pick players who will play some rugby and that's exciting.


A key issue is who they pick at fullback for the tests. The All Blacks kick the ball a lot to you and if the Lions are going to be successful they need a fullback who can make good decisions and not simply kick it straight back.

Stuart Hogg is a fantastic attacking player - during the last two Six Nations he was one of the leading players in terms of metres run and tackle breaks, so it will be interesting to see if Gatland picks him or Jared Payne over the slightly more predictable Halfpenny.

I have spoken to former Scotland representative Kenny Logan about the squad, and while there are only two Scots in it, he and I agree that not too many others could consider themselves unlucky to miss out. I guess the Gray brothers could feel a little disappointed, but the second row is very strong with the likes of Iain Henderson, Maro Itoje, Alun Wyn Jones, George Kruis and Courtney Lawes there.

Another talking point is the selection of Sam Warburton as captain. I'm not sure he can command a test start, but under Gatland he has been there and done it before.

He will also galvanise the squad.

It's worth remembering that during the last tour of Australia four years ago it was Jones holding up the trophy at the end, with Warburton standing next to him, injured, in his blazer and tie. There is likely to be a big casualty rate during this tour and things can change pretty quickly.

It has to be said, though, that Gatland has courage to make the big decisions - he showed that last time out in Australia when he dropped Brian O'Driscoll. It proved to be the right decision.

This is a squad with a huge amount of depth, one of the strongest ever picked. Correspondingly, the expectation levels will be very high.

If any Lions team could win here this is the one. We as New Zealanders know that and I think the Lions supporters know that too.

The big challenge now is for Gatland to get everything else right: on the field and off the field with the management of the tour and players. If he does it will be a hell of an exciting tour.