Owen issues rallying cry

Michael Owen has challenged his British & Irish Lions midweek team-mates to "keep the pressure on" and shrug off their Test disappointment. [more]

Lions Australia Tour 2013

Michael Owen has challenged his British & Irish Lions midweek team-mates to "keep the pressure on" and shrug off their Test disappointment.

Wales number eight Owen will lead the Lions against Southland in Invercargill on Tuesday, with head coach Sir Clive Woodward having already identified his squad to face the All Blacks next Saturday.

Owen finds himself keeping good company, as he is joined in midweek action by fellow Grand Slam winners Gavin Henson and Martyn Williams, Irish pair Geordan Murphy and Simon Easterby and England’s Charlie Hodgson.

Owen’s task, though, is to concentrate minds and bodies on the clash at Rugby Park, where the Lions are unbeaten in four games since 1966.

"The spirit of the squad is fantastic and we are looking forward to the Southland game," said Owen, who starts his third match on tour.

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"It is about working together as a team and, as we saw in the game against Otago on Saturday, we all want to keep the pressure on and push for Test places."

The Southland clash provides Wales scrum-half Gareth Cooper with his first start since leaving Heathrow almost four weeks ago, while wing Mark Cueto, hooker Andy Titterrell and prop John Hayes also make rare appearances.

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