The Lions- The Story So Far…
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Almost two weeks in and its safe to say Lions Fever has swept the home nations. Two comprehensive victories over the Barbarians (59-8) and the Western Force (17-69) followed up by a hard fought win over the Queensland Reds yesterday (12-22) has set us up for what so far has been an entertaining tour to say the least.
What can we take from the past few weeks? Is the test side all but picked? With the injury crisis that has hit the Lions the past week I’m not too sure. Dylan Hartley was the first Lion to fall, albeit because of his own stupidity, followed by Cian Healy, Gethin Jenkins and now Tommy Bowe. While the two front row boys have packed their bags and flew home (Replaced by Corbisiero and Grant) Bowe will remain with the squad with the hope that he still may make the test matches following surgery on his hand. Munster’s Simon Zebo has been given the chance to tour and play some midweek matches as a result.
Up next is a game versus Combined Queensland/NSW with Mr. Gatland fielding another experimental team with Scottish Back Stuart Hogg starting at 10 with no replacement 10 on the bench.
Here’s the Team in Full:
British & Irish Lions versus Combined Country, June 11, Newcastle:
15. Sean Maitland, 14. Alex Cuthbert, 13. Brian O’Driscoll, 12. Jamie Roberts, 11. George North, 10. Stuart Hogg, 9. Conor Murray, 1. Alex Corbisiero, 2. Richard Hibbard, 3. Dan Cole, 4. Richie Gray, 5. Ian Evans, 6. Sean O’Brien, 7. Justin Tipuric, 8. Jamie Heaslip.
Replacements: 16. Rory Best, 17. Ryan Grant, 18. Matt Stevens, 19. Alun Wyn Jones, 20. Tangaki Taulupe Faletau, 21. Mike Phillips, 22. Jonathan Davies, 23. Leigh Halfpenny.
What do you think the future holds for the Lions? They’re currently 8/13 to win the series outright and Robbie Deans has stated today that he will not be including Quade Cooper in his side, a man that many think has the ability to carve the Lions apart. It’s still only early days but the signs so far are positive. Roll on Tuesday… #Lions
Highlights Vs Queensland Reds: