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RUGBY UNION: Wilkinson's warning of Test intensity.

JONNY WILKINSON says the Lions are about to experience 'a whole different ball game' on their New Zealand tour.

The Lions play the penultimate match before a three-Test series against New Zealand, when they tackle Otago in Dunedin tomorrow. And, while all fixtures so far - Bay of Plenty, Taranaki, New Zealand Maori and Wellington - have challenged the Lions, supporting head coach Sir Clive Woodward's view of there being no easy games, the All Blacks are waiting to crank things up a few gears.

'Test matches are one-offs in themselves, and the first Test against Australia four years ago showed that.

' When the pressure is really on, and these big games come around and they really do mean the be-all and end-all, that's when you need your big performances.

'There are players here that you would expect it from.'

Wilkinson remains favourite for the Test fly-half berth in Christchurch tomorrow week, but it could prove a close encounter, with both Charlie Hodgson and Stephen Jones breathing down his neck
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jun 17, 2005
Words:168
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