World Cup winner and former Saracens scrum half expects Australia to show their ‘backs-against-the-wall’ spirit and has warned the British and Irish Lions that the test series against the Wallabies will be no walk in the park.
While some pundits have tipped the Lion to complete a whitewash down under, Bracken is predicting a much closer series.
“The one thing that you do have to give the Australians a lot of credit for is they do tend to thrive when their backs are against the wall and they always seem to come out fighting,” explained Bracken who will host the public screening of the first test on the giant screen at Allianz Park on June 22 – click here for more details.
He added: “The concern for me is when you look at the powerful team the Lions have got and then you look at the Australians, and the problems they have been experiencing off the pitch it all seems to pointing to a Lions whitewash, and that’s probably one of the worst positions to be in when you’re facing Australia.
“The Australians are so up and down. They struggle to get their form, but against the Lions you have to remember that it is on their turf, you’ve got to remember that two of the referees are antipodeans, which will means there will be a difference in how the breakdown will be interpreted.
“As we saw in Hong Kong, that momentarily lapse of discipline can get somebody sent off and it can swing a game and maybe a series; so far me it’s fascinating as everyone is predicting a Lions win but who knows what might happen?”
Bracken, who was a tourist in 1997 after initially missing out of the original squad that toured South Africa, also spoke of his excitement that the a Lions fever was sweeping the nation.
“Lions tours are the highlight of the rugby calendar and you can’t escape the fact that there is a Lions tour this summer.
“All the opinions of the make-up of the squad, who should be starting the in the test XV, what state Australia are in and the fact it has been years since we have won a Lions series, are very much dominating the agenda at the moment.
“What’s great about when these Lions tours come around is the fact that all the great stories and anecdotes that surround it all come out; I’ve experienced both emotions, not being in the Lions squad, then joining up with a squad, and I’m lucky enough to know first-hand, how fantastic the Lions concept is.”
If you can’t make it to Australia, watching the game alongside thousands of fans is the second best place to be as our giant 10m x 6.5m screen will be located on the pitch to provide perfect viewing from the East Stand amid genuine match day atmosphere.
An expert panel led by Bracken will offer a players’ and coaches’ perspective before and after the game, as well as delivering their half time team-talk.
Entry to Allianz Park is £10 for adults free for U16s and you can sit in the East Stand or on the artificial turf pitch.
Alternatively, our breakfast brunch package is £20 which includes an all you can eat breakfast in the hospitality suites and seats in the VIP areas.
Gates open at 09h00 with kick off at 11h00. Click here to book.