'Take chances to beat New Zealand' - Wales hooker Owens

Ken Owens
Ken Owens won the first of his 50 Wales caps against Namibia in the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand
Pro12: Connacht v Scarlets
Date: Saturday, 29 April Venue: The Sportsground, Galway Kick-off: 19:35 BST
Coverage: Live on S4C, live scores on the BBC Sport Website. Highlights later on the BBC Sport website

Hooker Ken Owens says the British and Irish Lions can beat New Zealand in the summer if they avoid the pitfalls Wales suffered there in June 2016.

Scarlets captain Owens, 30, will head down under on his first Lions tour.

"That's one thing we learnt from the tour last year was they, in the first two games, created four or five opportunities and took them," he said.

"And from a Welsh point of view we created probably as much if not more than them and didn't take them."

Owens highlighted the Lions' need to be superior to the All Blacks in counter-attack in the three-Test series.

"That's how you beat the All Blacks because they're always confident in their counter-attacking game and their attacking game to score points," said Owens.

"That's one thing they're traditionally very good at and we need to more than match that and take the points when they're available and take our try-scoring opportunities."

Wales lost 3-0 there last summer, including a 46-6 defeat in the final tour Test.

But he will return there believing Warren Gatland's squad is among the strongest in Lions history.

'Lions quality is unbelievable'

"You look at the quality of player that's in the squad it's unbelievable," said Owens.

"That's one of the best squads assembled for a Lions tour for a long time.

"I think a lot of the players who've missed out as well have been right at the top of their game for club and country and they haven't made the tour.

"That's how tough it's been for the coaches to select the squad and we've got a massive opportunity now to go to New Zealand with confidence."

Scarlets' Pro12 target

Owens learned of his selection while with family and friends in Pembrokeshire.

He will be up against Ireland's Rory Best and England's Jamie George for a Test spot.

Before the tour, he and Scarlets are targeting the Pro12 play-offs with their final two regular season games at Connacht, on Saturday 29 April, and against Ospreys a week later in Llanelli.

Owens said: "Finishing in the top four is in our hands now where perhaps it wasn't two or three weeks ago."

3 June - Provincial Union Team, Whangarei
7 June - Blues, Auckland
10 June - Crusaders, Christchurch
13 June - Highlanders, Dunedin
17 June - Maori All Blacks, Rotorua
20 June - Chiefs, Hamilton
24 June - All Blacks, Auckland
27 June- Hurricanes, Wellington
1 July - All Blacks, Wellington
8 July - All Blacks, Auckland

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