Size matters for this pride of Lions
Bish, bash, bosh. Here come the Boks. "A great rugby nation in great shape," according to the man charged with beating them, Ian McGeechan.
But for every prime slice of South African biltong roaming the High Veldt this summer, there's a Lion-sized chunk of British & Irish beef to meet it.
That seemed to be the underlying message as the 37 players heading to Springbok country next month were finally unveiled at a hotel next to Heathrow's Terminal Five.
Previous experience, as a player on the 1974 tour, and a coach in 1997, has taught McGeechan that you don't win matches in South Africa without meeting fire with fire.
The more you delve deeper into his selection, the more you sense we could be in for one of the most attritional, confrontational series of Test matches in living memory.
Something to match, or even surpass perhaps, the sustained ferocity of the Springboks onslaught in the second Test in Durban 12 years ago, a match Lawrence Dallaglio described as "more brutal than anything I encountered in my entire career".
On that occasion the Lions manned the trenches, tackled as if their lives depended on it, got under South Africa's skins and somehow emerged victorious.
Two of the key figures in that process were 'mighty mouse' props Tom Smith and Paul Wallace, but as McGeechan says, the game has moved on since then.
This time brute force in a Springbok jersey will find its equal in a red Lions jersey.
"You have to win the collisions, because South Africa are probably the best defensive unit in the world at the moment," noted Lions assistant coach Shaun Edwards, who has orchestrated much of the success enjoyed by Wasps and Wales with the same 'blitz' defence employed by South Africa.
"But it is pretty hard to stop the Boks, no matter what system you have in place, when you have 18 and 19-stone forwards running at you."
Well, for every Bakkies Botha, 'Beast' Mtawarira, Danie Rossouw or Pierre Spies, how about this lot running back at them?
When the out-sized Andrew Sheridan is only the fifth heaviest member of your squad, you are packing some serious poundage.
The Lions have 10 forwards over 18 stone, including all five props. Wales' hair-bear tight-head Adam Jones tops the squad's charts at 20 stone dead, just ahead of Simon Shaw, the 6ft 8in veteran who leads the second-row heavyweights at 19st 6lb.
Alun Wyn Jones (18st 10lb) and Nathan Hines (18st 9lb) are not far behind, with back-rows Andy Powell and Joe Worsley also weighing in at 18 stone.
The presence of "tree-cutter" Worsley, and other back-row bandits such as the niggly Alan Quinlan and combative Stephen Ferris, suggest the hits could be off the Richter scale.
Bruising centres such as Welsh duo Jamie Roberts and Tom Shanklin will also expect to make plenty of hard yards, while all three scrum-halves have an overtly physical edge.
The size and style of Mike Phillips is well documented, while Harry Ellis loves a scrap with the best of them and Tomas O'Leary also provides a sturdy, abrasive presence behind the scrum.
But for those worried that the 10-match tour could become a series of slug-fests, there are plenty of fleet-footed finishers ready to dazzle among the behemoths and bashers.
McGeechan and his assistants were all keen to emphasise the Lions will need to play with "intelligence, smartness and pace".
So while acknowledging the imposing physical nature of the challenge with some selections, other choices should ensure that when chances to attack arise, they are taken with alacrity.
Wings Leigh Halfpenny and Ugo Monye may not start as favourites to make the Test team, but both have gas to burn.
Halfpenny, as Edwards noted, "is a kid that seems to ooze confidence". He marked the electric Springboks wing Bryan Habana on his international debut as a 19-year-old last autumn, and may end up doing so again
Then there is the "genuine pace" of Keith Earls, the Irish 'bolter' in the party who cemented his place in McGeechan's imagination with his rousing two-try display for Munster against the Ospreys in their recent Heineken Cup quarter-final.
With two controlling fly-halves in Stephen Jones and Ronan O'Gara, Brian O'Driscoll to marshal midfield matters, Lee Byrne's solidity at the back and flankers Martyn Williams and David Wallace in the form of their lives, the Lions have good reasons for optimism.
But this pride could also be found wanting in certain areas.
With James Hook or Danny Cipriani failing to make a convincing case for inclusion as a third number 10 (interestingly, Leicester's Sam Vesty was also mentioned at selection meetings), Riki Flutey could find himself as fly-half and goalkicking cover in certain matches.
He did do a turn there for his previous club London Irish, but that was three years ago.
Against such fearsome operators as Botha and Victor Matfield, there also appears a worrying lack of renowned line-out prowess outside of O'Connell and Wyn Jones, which made Tom Croft's exclusion all the more surprising.
"There are some limitations there," admitted forwards coach Warren Gatland. "But you can't cover every single base when you are keeping a tight squad."
Responsibility for pulling that squad together and making the calls when the going gets toughest will be Paul O'Connell, the totemic Irish lock.
But the one he took from McGeechan informing him of his elevation to the Lions captaincy took longer than expected to reach its recipient.
Last Tuesday evening, O'Connell saw an English number come up on his mobile and decided not to answer it.
"I've had an English guy trying to sell me shares the last few weeks and I thought it was him again so I didn't want to talk to him," he recalled. "Then I saw the number again in the morning so I thought I better call him back."
The good news duly delivered, and confirmed to a wider audience a week later, the Lions strategists can now start giving serious thought to the scale of the task ahead.
The numbers may not stack up in many areas - only four weeks and five games to mould a team capable of beating the world champions in their own backyard.
But when it comes to the bare essentials of size, strength and speed, these Lions should give as good as they get.