Saturday and the British & Irish Lions kick-off their tour to Australia with a special match in Hong Kong against the Barbarians. The first question we ask having seen Warren Gatlands selection is are these the midweek dirt trackers or the makings of a test team? Some big names are missing which leads us to believe this is a run out for the guys who are not first choice. The heart and will to win should still be there to see them home and given the beating handed out to the BaBaas by England’s young guns last week we are not sure they have enough grunt and firepower to withstand the Lions no matter what team it is. Look out for Hogg running it up from fifteen and making a name for himself, whilst we hope Farrell is pushing on the gain line to give some competition to Sexton for that test 10 shirt.
So it is all set fair for a fine display of running rugby in the brilliant atmosphere that is the Hong Kong Stadium. Kick-off in UK time 12:30 just right for the fans to start enjoying a few beers up and down the British Isles. Score? Well we will go with a high scoring game that the Lions will win by twenty points or more. So we start with a ROAR not and Meow!
Lions: Stuart Hogg (Scotland), Alex Cuthbert (Wales), Jonathan Davies (Wales), Jamie Roberts (Wales), Sean Maitland (Scotland); Owen Farrell (England), Mike Phillips (Wales); Mako Vunipola (England), Richard Hibbard (Wales), Adam Jones (Wales), Richie Gray (Scotland), Paul O’Connell (Ireland), Dan Lydiate (Wales), Justin Tipuric (Wales), Toby Faletau (Wales).
Replacements: Tom Youngs (England), Cian Healy (Ireland), Matt Stevens (England), Alun Wyn Jones (Wales), Jamie Heaslip (Ireland), Conor Murray (Ireland), Jonathan Sexton (Ireland), George North (Wales
Barbarians: 15 Jared Payne, 14 Joe Rokocoko, 13 Elliot Daly, 12 Casey Laulala, 11 Takudzwa Ngwenya, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Dimitri Yachvili.
1 Paul James, 2 Schalk Brits, 3 Martin Castrogiovanni, 4 Marco Wentzel, 5 Dean Mumm, 6 Samu Manoa, 7 Sam Jones, 8 Sergio Parisse (captain)
Replacements: 16 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 17 Duncan Jones, 18 Andrea Lo Cicero, 19 Jim Hamilton, 20 Imanol Harinordoquy, 21 Kahn Fotuali’i, 22 James Hook, 23 Mike Tindall/Rowan Varty.