Melbourne Rebels prop Tetera Faulkner believes the competition for front row starting spots this year has prepared the team well for the threat that the Lions pose.
"I guess we’ve been working hard as a front row group," explains Faulkner.
"In terms of last year when we did make a change, it probably threw off the balance a bit. We had a starting team and whoever came on did an ok job, but this year we’ve got real competition," explained Faulkner.
Faulkner believes that type of internal competition is the what's needed to take the Rebels game to the next level.
"You can see for a guy like myself and Matt Gibbon who are both competing quite hard over preseason and he’s taken his opportunity."
The Melburnians are expecting the Lions to be at their best and show why they have made three consecutive Super Rugby finals.
Faulkner says while the Johannesburg side’s game plan looks simple from afar, it’s a whole other ball game in trying to stop the Lions from executing their plans.
“South African rugby is all about physicality and the set piece, but at the same time, the Lions can chuck the ball around and show you something you’ve never seen before,” Faulkner said.
“There’s no secret to their play, it’s pretty much straight forward with the ability to chuck the ball around.”
“Everyone’s really excited and ready to get the win over in South Africa.”