Nobody will hold back during Lions tour to New Zealand, says Ross Moriarty

18 May 2017 10:09

Ross Moriarty says that "nobody will be holding anything back" as the British and Irish Lions' New Zealand tour countdown continues.

The Wales international back-row forward is among more than 20 first-time Lions in head coach Warren Gatland's 41-player squad.

After an initial training camp in Wales this week, players will reassemble for another get-together in Ireland on Sunday, before flying to Auckland on May 29.

And the Gloucester player, who has started 12 of Wales' last 13 Tests, is relishing the challenge that lies ahead.

"It has been really enjoyable, but quite strange to meet players you have been playing against for a few years," he said.

"Some boys have been in the environment before, and some haven't, so there is always lots to learn.

"There have been lots of early starts and fitness work - on the bikes at 7.30, altitude training. Hard work pays off. It has been intense, but a good mixture of everything. It is always a step up.

"Some people only get one chance at this, so nobody will be holding anything back. Push yourself to the edge, and the rugby becomes easier."

Moriarty's Lions selection came after an outstanding 12 months that included him starting all three Wales Tests against New Zealand last summer, when he delivered some outstanding displays.

He was also an ever-present during the RBS 6 Nations this season, and now has the chance to make an impact on tour, despite fierce competition for back-row places.

"I was hopeful I was going to be involved," he added.

"To hear your name called out was overwhelming, and such a big thing for me. I was having food with my girlfriend at the time, and my phone went mad. It was a big day for the family.

"It is a tough step up, learning the new systems and lineouts. We have to learn fast and make sure we hit the ground running in the first game.

"It will be a huge challenge, we know that. Ten games with three Tests. We know every single game will be tough. Everyone will be giving everything, fighting for that Test shirt.

"New Zealand have very good runners with the ball. The Super Rugby games will be an exciting challenge, and I am looking forward to playing against new faces."

Moriarty is also getting used to being part of the Lions' tour choir, and he said: "I am not too good at singing, but I will give it a go, like most things.

"All the boys are getting to it, and it's great fun.

"It is in the evenings, we all have our song sheets and you will get to see and hear them soon. We will do our best with the songs!"

Source: PA