New Zealand Rugby boss Steve Tew has hit back at suggestions the current British and Irish Lions tour will be the last to New Zealand.
British columnist Stephen Jones told Rachel Smalley on Newstalk ZB that the gruelling nature of the current DHL series isn't fair on players.
The current tour includes 10 games in New Zealand with matches against all five Super Rugby franchises, New Zealand Maori, the New Zealand Provincial Barbarians and three tests against the All Blacks.
"This will be the last time that you'll see the Lions," he told Smalley on Early Edition.
"The next tour will be in 12 years' time and I don't think it will happen.
"The Lions played a game within 72 hours of arriving here at the end of a savage season at home. That's nonsense," Jones said.
"It's the player welfare aspect that is nonsense. Neither the New Zealand hosts nor the organisers in the UK of all the other competitions will give the Lions any proper preparation time and in this day and age it's just not good enough. So I think this will be the last Lions tour."
Listen: Stephen Jones on Early Edition
However, Tew told Larry Williams that he doesn't agree with Jones' opinion.
Tew says it is not NZR's intention to cull the series, nor the Lions' intention, and discussions are already underway for the next tours to South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
"We negotiated a new 12 year international calendar with Lions tours factored into that calendar. I'm confident that we'll see the Lions back here in the normal schedule that we've got going," said Tew.
"There are obviously things that need to be considered going into the next series of Lions tours - they need a longer preperation clearly than they had this year - they could have done that themselves - they could easily have brought the majority of the squad over to play the Barbarians game and just left the guys playing the club finals behind, and join later."
"I think it's reasonable to expect that we probably won't see a 10 game tour again, the calendar is just too full. We have a strong view of what the minimum [amount of games] looks like, and that is around eight."
The Lions have two games remaining on their tour, playing the All Blacks in Wellington tomorrow night, and in Auckland next Saturday.