Rugby Union

Lions make five changes for second Test

Published Add your comment

Football News

Tommy Bowe and Ben Youngs have been handed starting spots by Lions coach Warren Gatland for the second Test against Australia on Saturday.

Ireland wing Bowe comes in for first Test try scorer Alex Cuthbert, while Youngs is preferred to Mike Phillips at scrum-half.

Elsewhere, injuries to Alex Corbisiero and Paul O'Connell mean that Gatland has drafted in Mako Vunipola and Geoff Parling.

The extra physical advantage offered by Dan Lydiate means the Wales flanker is promoted ahead of Sean O'Brien to replace Tom Croft on the blindside. O'Brien is on the bench, as is Croft.

Bowe's call-up caps a sensational return to fitness for the winger, after he suffered a broken hand just two weeks ago. George North, the scorer of a magnificent try in the first Test, retains his place on the opposite wing.

Bowe featured in all three Test matches in South Africa four years ago, and will bring added experience to the side. His return will see him wear a hurling glove on his injured hand to offer greater protection during the match, after he had three screws inserted to hold the fracture together.

Gatland said: "This is a do-or-die match for Australia. It's going to be a real battle out there and we have decided to add a bit more physicality to our side up front, and Dan [Lydiate] brings that. Then we have got the explosiveness coming off the bench with Tom Croft and Sean O'Brien.

"I don't know about not changing a winning side; it is about picking the best team to do the job for us.

"We can win this series by winning on Saturday and that is what our whole focus needs to be. The last thing we want to do is think about it being 1-1 and having to play another game in Sydney. Everything for us is about Saturday night."

Cuthbert drops to the bench, while Phillips is left out completely due to fears over a knee injury that has plagued the Welshman for the past few weeks.

Gatland added: "The decision was to rest him this week. He is potentially an important component for next week.

"Given the quality of the nines we have got, all of them have done a great job for us. We felt it was prudent to make sure he was 100 per cent fit for next week."

Lions XV for the second Test:

L Halfpenny (Wales); T Bowe (Ireland), B O'Driscoll (Ireland), J Davies (Wales), G North (Wales); J Sexton (Ireland), B Youngs (England); M Vunipola (England), T Youngs (England), A Jones (Wales), A-W Jones (Wales), G Parling (England), D Lydiate (Wales), S Warburton (Wales, capt), J Heaslip (Ireland)

Replacements: R Hibbard (Wales), R Grant (Scotland), D Cole (England), T Croft (England), S O'Brien (Ireland), C Murray (Ireland), O Farrell (England), A Cuthbert (Wales)

Australia XV: 

K Beale (Melbourne Rebels); I Folau (New South Wales Waratahs), A Ashley-Cooper (New South Wales Waratahs), C Leali'ifano (Brumbies), J Tomane (Brumbies); J O'Connor (Melbourne Rebels), W Genia (Queensland Reds); B Robinson (New South Wales Waratahs), S Moore (Brumbies), B Alexander (Brumbies), K Douglas (New South Wales Waratahs), J Horwill (Queensland Reds, capt), B Mowen (Brumbies), M Hooper (Brumbies), W Palu (New South Wales Waratahs)

Replacements: S Fainga'a (Queensland Reds), J Slipper (Queensland Reds), S Kepu (New South Wales Waratahs), R Simmons (Queensland Reds), L Gill (Queensland Reds), N Phipps (Melbourne Rebels), R Horne (New South Wales Waratahs), J Mogg (Brumbies)


British & Irish Lions
Rugby Union

Read more

Report author of article

Please let us know if you believe this article is in violation of our editorial policy, please only report articles for one of the following reasons.

Report author


This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Want more content like this?

Like our GiveMeSport Facebook Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to Facebook, don't ask me again

Follow GiveMeSport on Twitter and you will get this directly to you.

Already Following, don't ask me again