British and Irish Lions inside center Robbie Henshaw hailed midfielder partner Elliot Daly ahead of a clash with world champions South Africa in the first test in Cape Town on Saturday.
They played together for 57 minutes last weekend in the 46-point rout of a Stormers franchise team that was missing eight Springboks.
“It’s really exciting to be a partner with Elliot,” the Irish star said at an online press conference on Friday. “His knowledge of the game and his offensive skills are second to none. He’s a top-notch player.
“His defensive readings are top notch. I’ve only played with him a couple of times in the last two tours, but it’s great to team up with him again. “
Lions centers will face Rugby World Cup winning duo Damian de Allende and Lukhanyo Am.
“I’ve played Damian about five times this year in the Pro14 competition, but now we’re at a much higher level.
“It will be a huge test, but I will talk to him after the game, as always. Damian is a great player and a great guy too. “
Henshaw acknowledged the Lions were heading for a deadly battle Saturday as they sought an early advantage ahead of the other two tests on July 31 and August 7, also in Cape Town.
“We are overwhelmingly ready,” he said. “We’ve done a lot of contact work, we’ve had a lot of games now against tough opponents and great men here in South Africa.
“We are ready and we can expect to face a big kicking battle and big men chasing us after the kick-off.
“It will be an uphill battle up front and the battle on the winning line will be huge as well. The Springboks will be well prepared and there will be tremendous intensity.
“We have to try to dominate the winning line and move forward. I just need to go out and enjoy it and play my usual game and hopefully be on the winning side. “
A hamstring injury has hampered Henshaw and he will only make a third appearance on a tour that produced four huge wins for the Lions and a narrow loss to a South African A team in Springbok.
South Africa first hosted the Lions in 1891 and won eight, drew and lost four in the Test Series between the two teams.
© 2021 AFP