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British & Irish Lions Tour to Australia 2013

Latest News - Sunday 9 June 2013 - 13:00

Hogg Starts At Fly Half vs QLD-NSW Country

British & Irish Lions full back Stuart Hogg has been named to start the match at fly half against a combined NSW-QLD Country XV on Tuesday.

The move represents quite a gamble from Lions Head Coach Warren Gatland because Hogg hasn’t played at fly half since he was at school.

The move illustrates the lack of fly half cover in the squad following the injuries to Manu Tuilagi and Tommy Bowe in yesterdays match against the Queensland Reds.  During the game, winger Tommy Bowe originally moved to centre to cover the departure of Tuilagi, but then Bowe himself got injured which forced the Lions to bring on Jonathan Sexton to play at fly half, whilst moving Owen Farrell to the centres.  Hogg and Farrell both played 90 minutes of the game with Sexton on for a large period too, leaving no rested option for the fly half berth on Tuesday.  Indeed, with Farrell and Sexton both rested, there is no fly half cover on the bench.

Elsewhere, injury call up Alex Corbisiero starts his first match of the tour, and Scotland prop Ryan Grant takes his place in the bench despite both having only just arrived in Australia.

More positive news for the Lions is that the hugely successful 2009 centre partnership of Brian O’Driscoll and Jamie Roberts is reunited.  O’Driscoll also captains the side.

Sean Maitland starts out of position at full back which indicates that Leigh Halfpenny is being kept fresh for the match on Saturday against the NSW Waratahs, a match that will give a huge indication as to the likely test side the following weekend.

British & Irish Lions team to face Western Force:

15: Sean Maitland
14: Alex Cuthbert
13: Brian O’Driscoll (c)
12: Jamie Roberts
11: George North
10: Stuart Hogg
9: Conor Murray
8: Jamie Heaslip
7: Justin Tipuric
6: Sean O’Brien
5: Ian Evans 
4: Richie Grey
3: Dan Cole
2: Richard Hibbard
1: Alex Corbisiero


16: Rory Best
17: Ryan Grant
18: Matt Stevens
19: Alun Wyn Jones
20: Toby Faletau
21: Mike Phillips
22: Jonathan Davies
23: Leigh Halfpenny


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