Wednesday, June 03, 2009
The British & Irish Lions play their second tour match this evening in as they face the Golden Lions at Ellis Park in Johannesburg as they look to step up a gear.
Ireland captain Brian ODriscoll has been named as captain for the match, as he gets his first run on tour, leading a side that has 11 new British & Irish Lions players.
After their disappointing display against the Royal XV in Rustenburg on the weekend, tonight is an opportunity for other players to impress the coach. Only three from the weekends match have been retained.
"We were always going to mix it up in the first three matches so that everyone gets a full outing," said Lions coach Ian McGeechan on Monday.
"The first three matches of this tour were set aside so that we could have a look at everyone."
ODriscoll is looking forward to putting the famous red jersey on again, after his disappointing tour of New Zealand in 2005.
I always hoped I would get on this Lions tour. The captaincy aspect was something that was out of my hands and Geech went with Paulie, which for my mind was a good a bet as anyone and I am delighted to be able to step up in Paulies absence and captain the team.
Harlequins wing Ugo Monye is raring to go.
"You don't know how many games you are going to play. This could be my first and last game, so you have got to make sure it is a big one.
"We have a big squad and a very competitive squad so every time you get that chance you really have got to grab hold of it."
It should be a cracking match, and one thing is for sure - the Lions will win tonight.
British and Irish Lions team
Rob Kearney; Tommy Bowe, Brian O'Driscoll, Jamie Roberts, Ugo Monye; Stephen Jones, Mike Phillips; Jamie Heaslip, David Wallace, Tom Croft, Alun-Wyn Jones, Nathan Hines, Phil Vickery, Lee Mears, Gethin Jenkins
Replacements: Ross Ford, Euan Murray, Stephen Ferris, Andy Powell, Harry Ellis, James Hook, Shane Williams
Golden Lions team
Louis Ludik; Michael Killian, Jannie Boshoff, Doppies la Grange, Dusty Noble; Andre Pretorius, Jano Vermaak; Willem Alberts, Franco van der Merwe, Cobus Grobbelaar (capt); Willem Stoltz, Brad Mockford, Gert Muller, Willie Wepener, Lawrence Sephaka.
Replacements: Ethienne Reynecke, JC Janse van Rensburg, Ernst Joubert, Todd Clever, Chris Jonck, Walter Venter, Earl Rose