Lions: 2nd Test Preview & Line-Ups
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What do you make of Warren Gatland’s “New Look” Lions Team for the crucial, possible series decider tomorrow?
Despite an impressive performance topped with a magnificent try Alex Cuthbert is relegated to the bench in favour of a fit-again, hurley glove wearing Tommy Bowe.
Geoff Parling takes the injured Paul O’ Connell’s spot in the second-row, while Dan Lydiate gets promoted to the starting line-up in a straight swap with Tom Croft.
A man that many say should have been in the squad from the 1st Test, Sean O’Brien has made the bench in place of a specialist second-row. Tom Croft is expected to provide cover should any injuries arise.
Mike Phillips has paid the ultimate price for his poor performance in the 1st test, axed completely from the squad. Ben Youngs starts while Conor Murray will provide cover on the bench.
The other change sees Mako Vunipola who was unlucky not to start the 1st Test make the starting 15 for the 2nd Test in place of injured Alex Corbisiero.
What are your predictions? Did Warren make the right calls? There’s been at lot of discussion here at RugbyLAD and it’s safe to say we’ve agreed- yes, Warrens unforced changes are warranted.
While Alex Cuthbert had a great showing in the last game and didn’t show and reason to be dropped, at the end of the day a fit Tommy Bowe is something to behold and we have no doubt he will do the business.
Having explosive back-rows like Tom Croft and especially Sean O’Brien ready to come on an make an impact with 20-30 minutes to go is something any team in the world would struggle to deal with.
Mike Phillips showed especially in the build up to Australia’s opening try that he somewhat took his Test jersey for granted. To play for the British & Irish Lions is the regarded as the highest honour for a player from the Northern Hemisphere and should not be taken for granted.
Our Prediction: Lions by 5-8 points.
British and Irish Lions: Leigh Halfpenny, Tommy Bowe, Brian O’Driscoll, Jonathan Davies, George North, Jonathan Sexton, Ben Youngs, Jamie Heaslip, Sam Warburton (c), Dan Lydiate, Geoff Parling, Alun Wyn Jones, Adam Jones, Tom Youngs, Makovina Vunipola.
Replacements: Richard Hibbard, Ryan Grant, Dan Cole, Tom Croft, Sean O’Brien, Conor Murray, Owen Farrell, Alex Cuthbert.
Australia: Kurtley Beale, Israel Folau, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Christian Leali’ifano, Joe Tomane, James O’Connor, Will Genia, Wycliff Palu, Michael Hooper, Ben Mowen, James Horwill (capt), Kane Douglas, Ben Alexander, Stephen Moore, Benn Robinson.
Replacements: Saia Fainga’a, James Slipper, Sekope Kepu, Rob Simmons, Liam Gill, Nick Phipps, Rob Horne, Jesse Mogg.