Preview: Australia v Lions
The British and Irish Lions expect Australia to throw everything bar the kitchen sink at them in today’s second Test but the tourists are also hoping to show what they can do in attack, flyhalf Jonny Sexton said.
The Lions held on for a 23-21 victory in the first test in Brisbane last week, despite being outscored two tries to one, and Sexton thinks they have a point to prove at Docklands Stadium.
“I don’t think we really got to implement our gameplan last week, we didn’t show too much,” Sexton said.
“We’ll look to try to attack them this week. We didn’t really get the chance last week, we’ll have a go this week.”
The Lions played some brilliant attacking rugby in their tour matches and the threat Sexton poses to defences with front-foot ball has in large part earned him the fly-half role over England’s Owen Farrell for the test matches.
Tonight, he will have a different halfback partner in Ben Youngs after the Englishman was preferred to hulking Welsh scrum-half Mike Phillips.
“It’ll be different, but they have a lot similarities,” the 27-year-old said.
“They’re obviously different in size, but they’re both pretty abrasive, even though they’re different sizes.
“They both want to play a quick game. It’s not going to take that much getting used to. I’ve had a good few days with Ben. Hopefully we’ll click. He brings a lot to the game in terms of his running ability.
“We had a little bit of game time at the end of the (Queensland) Reds game. We’ve had all week training. It’s been good. We’re pretty much in the same wavelength now.”
Australia: 15 Kurtley Beale, 14 Israel Folau, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Christian Leali’ifano, 11 Joe Tomane, 10 James O’Connor, 9 Will Genia, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Ben Mowen, 5 James Horwill (c), 4 Kane Douglas, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Benn Robinson.
Replacements: 16 Saia Fainga’a, 17 James Slipper, 18 Sekope Kepu, 19 Rob Simmons, 20 Liam Gill, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Rob Horne, 23 Jesse Mogg.
British and Irish Lions: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Tommy Bowe, 13 Brian O’Driscoll, 12 Jonathan Davies, 11 George North, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Sam Warburton (c), 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Alun Wyn Jones, 3 Adam Jones, 2 Tom Youngs, 1 Makovina Vunipola.
Replacements: 16 Richard Hibbard, 17 Ryan Grant, 18 Dan Cole, 19 Tom Croft, 20 Sean O’Brien, 21 Conor Murray, 22 Owen Farrell, 23 Alex Cuthbert.
Date: Saturday, June 29
Venue: Docklands Stadium (Etihad Stadium), Melbourne
Kick-off: 10.00pm FJ Time
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