Brian and Jamie reunited

Brian O'Driscoll will lead the British & Irish Lions for the second time on the 125th anniversary tour when he is reunited with his 2009 Test centre partner Jamie Roberts for the game against the Combined NSW / Queensland Country XV at the Hunter Stadium, Newcastle on Tuesday night. [more]

Brian and Jamie reunited

Brian O’Driscoll will lead the British & Irish Lions for the second time on the 125th anniversary tour when he is reunited with his 2009 Test centre partner Jamie Roberts for the game against the Combined NSW / Queensland Country XV at the Hunter Stadium, Newcastle on Tuesday night.

O’Driscoll and Roberts played together four times on the South African tour four years ago, including in the first two tests. They were both injured in Pretoria and missed the third and final Test victory over the Springboks.
The Lions will be hoping to maintain their unbeaten run on tour having made it three in a row with their 22-12 win over the Queensland Reds at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium on Saturday.

Replacement props Alex Corbisiero and Ryan Grant are included in a Lions line-up for the first time. Corbisiero, who has flown to Australia from South America, in the starting XV and Grant, who joined from Scotland’s tour in South Africa, among the replacements.

“The Reds game was always going to be a big challenge and I was delighted at the victory and the way we were tested. It was a very physical match as we knew it would be. We now move on to Newcastle and another challenge,” said head coach Warren Gatland.

“This team to play Country includes three players – Richie Gray, Alex Cuthbert and Stuart Hogg – who are starting their second game in a row plus another George North who came off the bench early against the Reds. This is the nature of
Lions tours as we adapt to injuries and playing twice a week.”

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Scotland’s Stuart Hogg gets his first run in the No 10 jersey having played two matches at full back and he is one of three players who started in Brisbane who will be backing up on Tuesday night. Matt Stevens is on the bench as he seeks to retain his record of having palyed a part in every game to date.

"We are delighted to have kept our unbeaten record intact. We were pushed all the way by an extremely skillful and committed Reds team that played some brilliant intuitive rugby,” said Lions tour manger Andy Irvine.
“However, I was incredibly proud of the way we responded and how we defended right to the bitter end. The win will be a tremendous boost to our confidence for the forthcoming Test series.

“There is no doubt that the Combined Country players match will regard the game as their cup final. But we are getting stronger each week, combinations are starting to take shape and we will be determined to head for Sydney with another sound win.”

British & Irish Lions
15. Sean Maitland (Galsgow Warriors / Scotland)

14. Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues / Wales)
13. Brian O’Driscoll (Leinster / Ireland, Captain)
12. Jamie Roberts (Cardiff Blues / Wales)
11. George North (Scarlets / Wales)

10. Stuart Hogg (Glasgow Warriors / Scotland)
9. Conor Murray (Munster / Ireland)

1. Alex Corbisiero (London Irish / England)
2. Richard Hibbard (Ospreys / Wales)
3. Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers / England)
4. Richie Gray (Scotland)
5. Ian Evans (Ospreys / Wales)
6. Sean O’Brien (Leinster / Ireland)
7. Justin Tipuric (Ospreys / Wales)
8. Jamie Heaslip (Leinster/Ireland)

Replacements
16. Rory Best (Ulster / Ireland)
17. Ryan Grant (Glasgow Warriors / Scotland)
18. Matt Stevens (Saracens / England)
19. Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys / Wales)
20. Toby Faletau (Dragons / Wales)
21. Mike Phillips (Bayonne / Wales)
22. Jonathan Davies (Scarlets / Wales)
23. Leigh Halfpenny (Cardiff Blues / Wales)
 

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