All Black legend Zinzan Brooke has admitted that a certain Lion has changed his opinion but he still thinks Warren Gatland should be worried ahead of the opening Test.
“The game against the Highlanders was an absolute cracker for the hosts, but you’ve got to question how the Lions couldn’t put the game to bed 22-13 up with just over 20 minutes to play,” said Brooke in a column for the official All Blacks website.
“That’ll be a real concern for Warren Gatland as he continues to make his mind up around his Test side.
“Speaking of the Test side, it’s time for me to tuck into a bit of humble pie.
“I’ve pretty openly criticised Taulupe Faletau as not having that bit of mongrel you need to play the All Blacks, but if I had to choose the Test side he’d definitely be in with a good crack.
“He’s played very well in the games he’s been chosen for and it’s no surprise he’s been picked for the Lions for Saturday’s game against the Maori All Blacks.”
Brooke played for the All Blacks between 1987 and 1997, playing 58 tests and 42 matches.
Across the 100 matches, Brooke scored 195 points, made up of 42 tries and three drop goals.
He is considered one of the best number eights to have ever played for the All Blacks with running and kicking skills of a back along with the strength and mobility of a great loose forward.