Steve Hansen was taught a rugby lesson by the Lions in 1971 - and now the All Blacks boss is out to school the tourists.

He was just 12 years old when he saw the Lions for the first time in Dunedin, and that match has stuck in his mind.

"I was only a little kid - if you can imagine me being little - and it was awesome," he said.

"I was right up the front by the fence and I overheard (Sandy) Carmichael saying to Colin Meads, 'How do you like that scrummaging boyo?' Meads said, 'Yeah, not too bad, but we just scored a try.' I enjoyed that.


"There are things that you keep with you. I was in my last year at Christchurch Boys High when they came out and we met Fran Cotton and those guys at the school."

The Lions won the 1971 series 2-1, drawing one of the four Tests. It is the only time the Lions have won a series in 12 attempts in New Zealand.

And Hansen, while having respect for the concept, does not want to be the next coach to lose a series to them.

"Those things don't normally happen,' he added. 'It would be a real shame if we ever lose to the Lions.

"You can't just pick on one little bit of history. You've got to look at the whole thing. The good, the bad and the ugly. We don't have tours anymore in world rugby."

But the All Blacks head coach will put all that praise aside on Saturday - now his job is to beat the team he admired so much as a kid.