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British & Irish Lions Tour to Australia 2013

Match Reports - Monday 10 June 2013 - 11:01

NSW-QLD Country XV vs
British & Irish Lions

Venue: Hunter Stadium, Newcastle
Date: Tuesday 11th June 2013 19.30 local (10.30 UK)
UK Television: Sky Sports 1 & HD 1 (10.00 UK)
Weather: Cloudy with light winds, Max 17 degrees

Referee: Jerome Garces (France)
Assistant referees: Glen Jackson (New Zealand), Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Television match official: tba (New Zealand)
Assessor: Scott Young/Andrew Cole (Australia)

Queensland Reds The British & Irish Lions
15. Nathan Trist
14. Alex Gibbon
13. Lewie Catt
12. Tareta-Junior Siakisini
11. Tom Cox
10. Angus Roberts
9. Michael Snowden
8. Tim Davidson (c)
7. Jarrad Butler
6. Richard Stanford
5. Blake Enever
4. Phoenix Battye
3. Tim Metcher
2. Josh Mann-Rae
1. Haydn Hirsimaki
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
Replacements Replacements
16. Tom Kearney
17. Dylan Evans
18. Rikki Abraham
19. Rory Arnold
20. Trent Dyer
21. Adam McCormack
22. Shuan McCarthy
23. Dale Ahwang
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


After finally getting a decent test against a determined Reds side on Saturday, it’s back to as you were against pitifully weak opposition once again with this Combined NSW-QLD Country XV side.

Ironically enough, it might be a good opportunity for the Lions to rest a number of their strained players following the bruising encounter in Brisbane at the weekend.

The Lions lost Manu Tuilagi and Tomme Bowe to injury during the game, although Tuilagi should be fine to continue the tour.  Not only those two though, Jonny Sexton picked up a hamstring injury which is concerning for the test series only three matches away.

Stuart Hogg has been selected at fly half for this match having never played a professional match their, with Farrell being completely rested.  I guess they were always going to play Hogg at fly half at some point during the tour given he is being expected to cover the position, and a match against probably the weakest opponents on the tour is probably the time to do it.

It’ll be interesting to see the O’Driscoll/Roberts axis for the first time on this tour.  The centre partnership worked so well in 2009 against South Africa, that it will be interesting to see if they can pick up from where they left off.  You get the feeling that if they do, it could be a very difficult evening for the inexperienced Catt and Siakisini opposite them.

Although this match will be seen as an opportunity for players to be rested, game time for others (especially the two new props) and for some combinations to be tested, it’s worth remembering that actually there are one or two player here who will be looking to press their claims for a test place.

A few of the guys here will be looking to really press their claims following good performances earlier in the tour.  The likes of Jamie Heaslip, who had an excellent match against the Force, George North who seems to be on a mission to make himself a test starter with some excellent breaks in the match against the Reds, and Richard Hibbard who is pressing his claims to start the test in particular.

This is by no means a training run out.  It might be a bit one sided as a contest, but at this stage of the tour, those playing in the side should be getting used to playing with unfamiliar players, and will be starting to get a handle on the game plan that Gatland wants to play.  There should be no excuses here for a lightening in intensity, and the Lions will be looking to set down a real marker ahead of the next tough test on Saturday against the NSW Waratahs.


Comments from British & Irish Lions fans on the Forum

“By the looks of things, the Lions will score a hatful of tries against very mediocre opposition. Hogg was always cover for the two 10′s so not really a surprise to see him there allowing Farrell and Sexton to rest. No need to risk the skipper either especially as he’s just come through his first big test unscathed. To play him again on Tuesday would (IMO) be ludicrous. He has just recovered from a knee injury and I’m sure he’d be feeling it this morning. Sensible to rest him and play him on Saturday in another big test. Gatland still needs to look at some combinations and the fact that BOD and Roberts are playing together is a big pointer to the 1st test. No need to panic guys.”

Join in the chat at our Lions Tour Forum to have your say, and next time it could be your comments here. Prediction

This should be a bit of a one sided affair. The Combined County XV are a weak set of players that are not used to playing with each other, and don’t have the real quality to put together anything like the Lions or even Barbarians can do, so the result should it’s not a case of if, but by how much.   If the Lions don’t score at least 75 points then there will be quite some concerns for Gatland about the lack of intensity from his players trying to play their way into his test reckoning.

Combined NSW-QLD Country XV 5 British & Irish Lions 85

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