Wallabies coach Michael Cheika backing All Blacks over Lions, says series could send them to another level
Wallabies coach Michael Cheika is never normally one to praise the All Blacks, but even he admits the British and Irish Lions will struggle to beat the world champions.
With the Lions squad announced this week, Cheika was asked to weigh in with his thoughts by the Daily Telegraph.
He said he hadn't looked at the Lions squad with great detail, but doubted they could win the series.
"New Zealand are in pretty red hot form, so you know ... it will take a special effort to beat them there," he told the newspaper.
"Throw in the nature of the tour as well, it's a tough gig."
He even went as far to say he would be backing his fierce trans-Tasman rivals.
"I will be more focused on what we're doing over here but as much as we are enemies with New Zealand, I am always with the southern hemisphere against the northern hemisphere," he said.
Australia get first crack at the All Blacks after the Lions tour when they attempt to win the Bledisloe Cup for the first time since 2002 when the first test is played in Sydney on August 19.
Cheika said he didn't subscribe to the thought the All Blacks might be feeling worse for wear after the tour. Australia were noticeably flat after losing their 2013 Lions series 2-1, getting hammered 47-29 by the All Blacks in the first Bledisloe test in Sydney that year.
"I think they [New Zealand] will come out better from it," Cheika told the Daily Telegraph.
"There is nothing better than tough footy. I don't know what happened in 2013, I didn't really see what happened there but my way of thinking is there is noting better than tough footy to get you ready."
The first All Blacks-Lions test is on June 24, with the series finishing on July 8.