"The Lions have got a lot of expectation of their own - 30,000 people are coming out to support them and they are coming out in expectation of their team playing really well and winning the series".
A Lions tour once every 12 years is one of the most anticipated sporting events in New Zealand, where rugby is regarded as a national religion and the three Lions Tests were sold out long ago.
It was a particularly poignant moment for Payne, as the 31-year-old is a Kiwi and will be returning to his homeland to take on players he knows and sides he has turned out for.
George Kruis: "If you're going to beat the All Blacks you might as well do it the hard way".
"I am backing the All Blacks to do the job", Thrush said.
The Lions have a competitive squad of players, with a set of no nonsense English/Irish forwards, two world class fly-halfs in Jonny Sexton and Owen Farrell and some finishing power in the back three, but remember what happened in 2005. But, in terms of the Lions actually having a chance to win a Test series, if they were to come through those games relatively unscathed, then my goodness, they're going to be ready for Test match rugby.
The Lions' degree of difficulty is also increased by them playing two Tests at Eden Park, Auckland, where New Zealand are unbeaten for 23 years. "We think that the different elements of this jersey - the iconic print and the Lions Series crest - express both that pride and the importance of the legacy that these players are continuing".
The players involved in the Aviva Premiership and Pro12 finals joined up with the squad in London on Sunday looking to be integrated as quickly as possible ahead of the opening game of the 10-match tour, against the New Zealand Provincial Barbarians in Whangarei on Saturday. What is important for them is to play to their strengths, not look to emulate the way New Zealand play.
An area of the game where the Lions believe they have the edge over the All Blacks is with their goal kicking. "It tells you what his mindset is, how he wants to play".
Jones also spoke glowingly of the All Blacks when asked whether he would like to play Hansen's men more than the scheduled one time they're due to meet before the next World Cup.
"I wouldn't say no but I am not saying yes".
"The series in New Zealand will be a contrast in styles".
There is no doubt whatsoever that it's going to be a very tough five weeks beginning with the first game on June 3. I would like a 3-0 win for the ABs.
One win leads to a massive blacklash in the second Test and the series in the balance at 1-1 before the decider, which is when the tourists grab history by the throat and bend it to their will.