Rugby Union


Lions starting XV approved by Sir Clive Woodward

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Sir Clive Woodward has expressed his delight at the starting XV picked for the first British and Irish Lions test against Australia.

Lions coach Warren Gatland has picked England prop Alex Corbisiero, who was not in the original touring party but was called up to replace injured Irishman Cian Healy, with the rest of the starting line-up pretty much as expected.

Corbisiero has earned himself a place ahead of compatriot Mako Vunipola, and Woodward agrees with the decision.

Woodward told BBC Radio 5 Live: "Rugby is still a fairly straightforward game in terms of scrums and line-outs, and I think Corbisiero is ahead of Vunipola.

"It's an excellent selection. I think it's a great Lions team."

Woodward won the 2003 Rugby World Cup with England before coaching the Lions on their tour to New Zealand two years later.

Despite an identical warm-up record to this year’s Lions (won 5, lost 1), that year New Zealand won all three tests comfortably.

This time round, the Lions face the Wallabies and it is expected to be a much closer series than the one with New Zealand.

The first test is on Saturday in Brisbane.


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