O’Sullivan playing it straight

British & Irish Lions coach Eddie O'Sullivan will not employ a rotation policy on Ireland's tour of New Zealand and Australia. [more]

Lions Australia Tour 2013

British & Irish Lions coach Eddie O’Sullivan will not employ a rotation policy on Ireland’s tour of New Zealand and Australia.

The All Blacks made significant alterations to their team when arriving in Dublin last year, a virtual second string defeating the Irish 43-7 at Lansdowne Road in November.

The host team in Hamilton will be different again and although Ireland coach O’Sullivan admires Graham Henry’s range of options, he will not be adopting such a system.

On the team’s arrival in Auckland, O’Sullivan said: "You don’t mess around and experiment in the southern hemisphere against teams like New Zealand and Australia.

"We’re here to try and get a job done and put the best team on the field we can in each game.

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"Graham has got that sort of strength in depth at the moment where he can do that and I think most coaches in world rugby would like to have that latitude.

"What he’s got to do is make sure he wins all his games and when you’ve got a schedule like New Zealand have you maybe have to work your squad a bit.

"I would like to do the same sometimes but we maybe don’t have that latitude and the most important thing in Test rugby level is to win."

Henry has a concern over stalwart lock Ali Williams. The Auckland and Blues second-rower suffered an ankle injury in training and Chris Jack of Canterbury Crusaders has been pencilled into the 25-man squad for the two-game series.

Williams and Jack have been the recent number four and five pairing for the All Blacks, so Blues duo Troy Flavell and Greg Rawlinson will form a novice duo at Test level.

Flavell, nominally a flanker, has spent several years on the outer fringes after a spell in Japanese rugby and disciplinary problems in his previous All Blacks career.

North Harbour’s Rawlinson will be a Test debutant after the Durban-born forward qualified for New Zealand residency.

Prop Neemia Tialata is likely to be fit for the first Test despite injuring his knee injury in the Super 14 final.

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