Lyons backs young Scarlets to shine

David Lyons knows all about getting thrown in at the deep end in Test rugby and the Scarlets No 8 believes Tavis Knoyle and Rob McCusker will be much improved next season after playing for Wales against the All Blacks. [more]

Lyons backs young Scarlets to shine

David Lyons knows all about getting thrown in at the deep end in Test rugby and the Scarlets No 8 believes Tavis Knoyle and Rob McCusker will be much improved next season after playing for Wales against the All Blacks.

The 30-year-old Lyons was four days past his 21st birthday when he faced the British & Irish Lions for the first time in 2001. Capped the previous summer against the Pumas, he helped Australia A notch a 28-25 win and earned a place on the bench for the first Test two weeks later.

The Brisbane Test was won by the Lions and the NSW back row man didn’t figure in the final two Tests as the wallabies hit back to clinch the series. But that experience has stayed with the 43-times capped player, who went on to play in the 2003 Rugby World Cup final.

“Having seen first-hand some of the best players in the world Tavisd and Rob will now know the level at which they have to perform,” said Lyons, who is midway through a four year deal with Magners League side the Scarlets.

“The experience of the summer tour to New Zealand will be invaluable for them as individuals. It was similar to my early career when I was thrown into the top level, week-in-week out.

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“That's what you need as a young player because it makes you focus on the standards you need to achieve."

Scrum half Knoyle picked up his first senior cap shortly after his 20th birthday this month as a replacement in the first Test against the World No 1 ranked All Blacks, while back row forward McCusker has faced the Springboks and All Blacks twice this summer.

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