Lions name team for first test (team sheet)

British and Irish Lions Coach Warren Gatland has named a strong team for the first test in his attempt to Teamsheetsbring a series win home for the first time in 16 years.

It’s been four agonisingly long years for the Lions since that Morne Steyn penalty that sealed the Springboks series win in South Africa and the memory will still be fresh in those veteran Lions tourig once again. There focus is solely on showing the world that the Lions as a concept is not outdated in a professional era by defeating one of the world’s premier teams.

The Lions starting team comprises of eight new test players and will be led by captain Sam Warburton.

In the back line Leigh Halfpenny, Alex Cuthbert, George North, Jonathan Davies and Jonathan Sexton earn their first test cap. They are joined by the experiences Brian O’Driscoll and Mike Philips who have a combination of 9 caps between them.

The forward pack will draw from the experience of Jamie Heaslip, Tom Croft, Paul O’Connell, Alun Wyn Jones and Adam Jones who have a combined 17 caps between them. Prop Alex Corbisiero, Hooker Tom Youngs as well as Warburton will be making their debut.

“We are now at the business end of the tour. You can feel the excitement and commitment within the squad now that we are back in Brisbane and the first Test is just days away,” said British & Irish Lions Tour Manager Andy Irvine.

“I congratulate all the players who are making their Lions Test debut on Saturday Playing against the Wallabies for the Lions is a major milestone in a player’s career and I am confident they will all uphold the history and tradition of the Lions by giving their all.”

Head Coach Warren Gatland said: “After six matches we have arrived at the first Test and have selected our strongest possible side with only Jamie Roberts,Tommy Bowe and Manu Tuilagi unavailable for selection.

“The Wallabies at home pose a huge challenge but the Test team contains 20 of the players that played against the Waratahs in what was our best match to date. We now have a couple of more days of match preparation to ensure we improve again on that performance.”

The Wallabies host the British and Irish Lions in Brisbane on Saturday, KO 8.05pm AEST (11.05am UKST, 10.05 GMT)


British & Irish Lions: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Brian O’Driscoll, 12 Jonathan Davies, 11 George North, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Mike Phillips, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Sam Warburton (c), 6 Tom Croft, 5 Paul O’Connell, 4 Alun Wyn Jones, 3 Adam Jones, 2 Tom Youngs, 1 Alex Corbisiero.
Replacements: 16 Richard Hibbard, 17 Makovina Vunipola, 18 Dan Cole, 19 Geoff Parling, 20 Dan Lydiate, 21 Ben Youngs, 22 Owen Farrell, 23 Sean Maitland.


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