Former All Blacks first five-eighth Nick Evans is predicting a New Zealand sweep over the British and Irish Lions.

Evans, who played 16 tests for the All Blacks between 2004 and 2007, will run out in his final home game for the Harlequins tomorrow before retiring from rugby.

The 36-year-old told the London Telegraph that Lions coach Warren Gatland has picked a squad that will take the game to the All Blacks and that they need to run at World Rugby player of the year Beauden Barrett.

"They have got to take on the All Blacks at the maul, which is not well-defended by New Zealand teams, and then go down Beauden Barrett's channel as often as they can," said Evans.


"Barrett is the most devastating player in the world if you give him space. The Lions have got to take the sting out of his attack."

Evans said the skill level in English rugby has closed the gap on New Zealand from since he first joined the 'Quins in 2008 stating that there is little difference between international sides and the All Blacks.

Despite that he's still predicting a New Zealand sweep in the test series.

"It's been refreshing to see the change in outlook in the time that I've been here with a switch from the set-piece, forward-orientated style that was the norm to much more of a ball-in-hand approach," Evans told the Telegraph.

"It had to happen. At lower levels there is still some way to go to match the Kiwis but at a higher level, through the age-grade under 18s and under 20s, you can see that it is there. Skill is what it is all about from a very young age in New Zealand. It is hammered into them: catch-and-pass, recognise the space, execute the three-on-two, see the picture early. There are skilful kids coming through now and that does bode well even if I believe the All Blacks will be too good for the Lions. It'll be close in each test but I take them to win the series, 3-0."