Cape Town - Legendary former All Black and Hurricanes fullback Christian Cullen is confident that his former team will defeat the Lions in the Super Rugby semi-finals in Johannesburg on Saturday.
Cullen, who played 58 Tests for the All Blacks and 85 Super Rugby games for the Hurricanes, was speaking on New Zealand’s The Breakdown programme on Tuesday where he shared his views.
Cullen is not worried about the Hurricanes’ chances at Ellis Park, but rather what would await them in the final back in New Zealand the following week.
“It’s a challenge because I don’t think any team’s ever won this competition by travelling," Cullen said. "So, they’re going to have to do it. I think they can beat the Lions, I have no doubt about that, but it’s the coming back and facing the Crusaders of Chiefs (the following week). That’s the issue, but I have no doubt that they will win this weekend.”
Former All Black wing Jeff Wilson, who hosts the show, agreed with Cullen’s notion.
“I think the Hurricanes are going to win. There’s no Warren Whiteley for this Lions team. I think he is by far and away their best player, particularly among the loose forwards," Wilson said.
When they face the Hurricanes on Saturday, it will be the Lions' first game against New Zealand opposition in 2017.
Last year, the Hurricanes beat the Lions 50-17 in Johannesburg and also beat them 20-3 in the final in Wellington.