Desperate (Stupid) Lions call on Twelvetrees

The British and Irish Lions have called up Gloucester centre Billy Twelvetrees as backs cover as they sweat over Rugby Injurytheir stars.

The five times capped Englishman will serve as cover for injuries to flyhalves Owen Farrell (dead leg) and Jonathan Sexton (hamstring) as well as centre Manu Tuilagi who has picked up a niggle.

I have nothing against Twelvetrees, he has a great reputation in the UK, but it seems extremely surprising that someone with so little international (and big match) experience is called up as cover for one of the most important roles in the team. Especially when you take into account that he has spent minimal time in the no.10 jersey for his club in his professional career.

Head coach Warren Gatland said: “The nature of a Lions tour means that there will inevitably be knocks which take time to recover from. The whole squad have worked hard but a lot of the backs have doubled up over the last two games, either starting or from the bench. Billy played well in the first Test for England and he provides that versatility to cover a variety of positions.”

Players like James Hook (70 caps for Wales and 1 Lions tour) and Rhys Priestland (22 caps for Wales) must be sitting at home with their jaws on the floor wondering what they have done to piss off their own national coach Warren Galtand.

One has to wonder what would happen if Farrell or Sexton was ruled out before the first test? Is Gatland taking this seriously? Why he did not pick a third choice flyhalf originally was dumb founding enough but to not call up a proven no.10 after an injury scare is just plain stupidity.

The Lions will line up against the Waratahs in Sydney this weekend and another bruising encounter could see the Lions needing to seriously rethink their choices ahead of the test matches. However by that point it may just be too little too late as they head into a series against a team who pride themselves in backline flair.

MM

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