Tommy Seymour: Lions must 'go through a lot of pain' to beat New Zealand
Tommy Seymour admits the British and Irish Lions must be willing to suffer if they are to win a series in New Zealand for the first time since 1971.
The wing, 28, is one of three Scots in Warren Gatland’s touring party.
And Glasgow Warriors’ Seymour insists a varied and accurate game-plan will be required to topple the back-to-back world champions.
“We’ve got to be willing to go through a lot of pain to beat this side,” Seymour said of the All Blacks.
“We’ve just got to be at our utmost. We’ve got to make sure we know everything we’re trying to do on the field inside and out. Everything’s got to be second nature.
“We’ve got to be willing to be physical with them; we’ve got to be willing to play as well. We’ve got to go out there with ambition – there’s no point in sitting on our heels and hoping you’re going to have a physical confrontation with them.
“You’ve got to be willing to play and expand and really take the game to them as well. So I think for us it’s just about getting as much detail as possible on the field, and once we’ve got that detail making sure it’s second nature.”
‘We’ve accomplished a lot of stuff’
Only 14 of the 41 players selected by Gatland have reported to the Vale of Glamorgan for the first week of training – the rest remain embroiled in the latter stages of domestic competitions with their respective club sides.
“Guys have done very well at their clubs and are playing in semi-finals and finals, they’re rightly where they should be,” Seymour said.
“You want everyone together, but we’ve had a really successful week, we’ve had enough numbers to be able to accomplish a lot of stuff. We’ve been able to tick a lot of boxes, and get a lot of things across that will give us a good head start going into the weeks to come.
“We’ve had a guy in every position as well, so even when it comes down to patterns and things rugby-wise, that’s been able to be accomplished as well.
“I think it’ll help to get everyone integrated as quickly as possible because there will be guys dotted around the field that can kind of explain what’s going on and point everyone in the right direction. It’ll help the coaches as well to get everyone embedded as quickly as possible.”
Seymour unfazed by scarcity of Scots
Seymour has been joined by compatriots Stuart Hogg and Greig Laidlaw, who was a pre-tour replacement for England’s Ben Youngs.
Some Scottish pundits, including former coach Jim Telfer, have aired their grievances at the paucity of Scots in the squad, but American-born Seymour insists he is focusing solely on forging strong bonds with his new team-mates.
“That question’s been asked a lot, but I’m in my Lions head now,” Seymour added. “I need to get familiar and bed into relationships with guys here. That’s my focus right now, it’s not about what’s not here.
“I feel like you guys [in the media] want me to have an answer to the Scottish thing. You don’t enter the meeting room or the team room and think, there’s a Scotsman, there’s an Englishman, there’s an Irishman, there’s a Welshman.
“It can’t work like that. If you go in with that mind-set, then you’re already on the back foot, you’re already creating lines where there doesn’t need to be any. We go into the meeting room and we think, ‘there’s another squad member, another part of this playing group’.”