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Farrell: Six Nations bonus-point system will suit Ireland - and the Lions

There’s a big 2017 ahead for the Ireland and the Lions defence coach.

Andy Farrell and Warren Gatland Andy Farrell (left) with Lions head coach Warren Gatland. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

IRELAND AND LIONS defence coach Andy Farrell believes the new Six Nations bonus-point system will help both teams’ prospects next year.

For the first time, the 2017 Six Nations will see teams awarded additional points for scoring four or more tries, or for losing by seven or fewer points.

Farrell feels that could also be advantageous for the Lions, who are looking for a first series win over the All Blacks next summer since 1971.

“We have been in front against them with teams I have been involved with and they are masters at the comeback, staying calm and being clinical,” he said, via The Telegraph.

“The way to score that bonus-point try is exactly like that — staying calm, being clinical, not being frantic, and going about your job as you should do rather than being too emotional.

“It will create excitement as it goes, you’ll know what you need to do along the way, but you still won’t get away from the fact that you need to win.

Andy Farrell and Rory Best celebrate winning Farrell celebrates with Rory Best after Ireland's win against New Zealand last month. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

“It is good for us because we want to play a good attacking style of rugby in Ireland, we have shown that with the tries we have scored of late. I believe it is going to be good for us, but everyone knows that you have to score points against New Zealand.”

Ireland ended the All Blacks’ 18-match winning streak with a shock 40-29 win in Chicago in November. Farrell said he warned the team that points would be needed to have any chance against New Zealand.

“They are pretty good at scoring points themselves. It is my job to keep it as low as possible,” he said. ”Everyone talks about 24 to 28 [points], I said to the boys in Chicago, ‘You need to score 28 to 30 points against them, because they are very clinical’.

“We managed to score 40 and five tries which was a dream. That was pretty special.”

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