Australia versus the British & Irish Lions Saturday 22 June Kick-off 11:05 UK Time.
Can you wait for the excitment to commence? This is probably the best chance the Lions have to state their case, all that has gone before is no where near the intensity that this game will have. Warren Gatland has surprised us with a couple of his calls but eight Welsh in the starting team is no surprise. Mako Vunipola is perhaps unlucky not to start but Alex Corbbisiero should be better in the tight a battle the Lions must win. Lets also hope that with Croft in they can win some line ball. Tom Youngs over Richard Hibbard did catch us unawares but there is not much between them and Hibbard brings a lot from the bench. North being fit is a bonus and lets hope that Jonathan Davies can bring to the twelve shirt what he has in the thirteen. If it clicks he and BOD could be the match winners in releasing the powerful back three. The battle of the backrows will be fascinating and on first sight we think the Australians have the edge.
The Aussie selections are interesting particularly James O’Connor at ten but he can do outstanding things so watch this space. So all in all an exciting test in prospect and whatever it will be close but we will go for a narrow win to the Lions.
Here are the squads:
Australia: Berrick Barnes (NSW Waratahs); Israel Folau (NSW), Adam Ashley-Cooper (NSW), Christian Leali’ifano (ACT Brumbies), Digby Ioane (Queensland Reds); James O’Connor (Melbourne Rebels), Will Genia (Reds); Benn Robinson (NSW), Stephen Moore (ACT), Ben Alexander (ACT), James Horwill (Reds – capt), Kane Douglas (NSW), Ben Mowen (ACT), Michael Hooper (NSW), Wycliff Palu (NSW).
Replacements: Saia Fainga’a (Reds), James Slipper (Reds), S Kepu (NSW), Rob Simmons (Reds), Liam Gill (Reds) Nick Phipps (Rebels), Pat McCabe (ACT), Kurtley Beale (Rebels).
British & Irish Lions: Leigh Halfpenny (Wales), Alex Cuthbert (Wales), Brian O’Driscoll (Ireland), Jonathan Davies (Wales), George North (Wales), Jonathan Sexton (Ireland), Mike Phillips (Wales); Alex Corbisiero (England), Tom Youngs (England), Adam Jones (Wales), Alun Wyn Jones (Wales), Paul O’Connell (Ireland), Tom Croft (England), Sam Warburton (Wales, capt), Jamie Heaslip (Ireland).
Replacements: Richard Hibbard (Wales), Mako Vunipola (England), Dan Cole (England), Geoff Parling (England), Dan Lydiate (Wales), Ben Youngs (England), Owen Farrell (England), Sean Maitland (Scotland).