HAVING little time to gel as a squad will be a ‘massive factor’ for the British and Irish Lions in their summer series with New Zealand, according to Worcester Warriors wing Bryce Heem.

The 28-year-old was born and raised in New Zealand and believes the All Blacks are strong favourites to win the three-Test series on home soil.

Auckland-born Heem played sevens rugby for New Zealand and will be watching the Lions’ tour with great interest.

“The Lions have got a great team to go over to New Zealand but I think the main thing is the travel,” said Heem.

“A lot of players in the Lions squad will be finishing with semi-finals and finals in their respective leagues before joining up with the Lions.

“It doesn’t give them much time together as a squad and then they will be going over to New Zealand.

"They will then probably only be together for a few days before playing.

“I think the length of time together is something which will be a massive factor for Lions, especially going up against the All Blacks who are in good form.”

Heem’s Warriors team-mate Ben Te’o is part of the Lions’ 37-man squad.

The powerful centre was also born in Auckland and raised in New Zealand before plying his trade in rugby league in Australia.

The Lions will be flying out to New Zealand on May 29 as they prepare for the first Test against the world champions on June 24.

“In terms of Benny, he’s done well to get into the squad and the physicality he has in the game will definitely help out the Lions,” said Heem.

“Benny left New Zealand quite early in his life and was then in Australia for a long time.

“I don’t think people in New Zealand get to see a lot of rugby which is played in Europe so there might not be too much hype surrounding him coming back (with the Lions).”

Heem has just completed his second season at Warriors and is now planning to return to his homeland for a short holiday.

“I am going to go home for a while to see my family,” he said.

“I just want to try to catch up with my family and friends - that’s the main focus for the summer.”

He added: “The Lions will be in New Zealand in June and I will heading back to England just as they arrive. But I will definitely be watching the Test series and I definitely think the All Blacks will win it.”