Monday, June 08, 2009
British & Irish Lions coach Ian McGeechan is keeping mum about his Test team plans for the upcoming matches against the Springboks. He says that nothing in planned yet, as they're currently working on combinations.
The Lions have won all three matches on tour so far, but with differing results and totally different starting fifteens on each outing.
On two of the three occasions, theyve come close to losing, despite a few impressive individual displays. James Hook is one player who stood out for the experienced coach. He is now the leading points scorer on tour.
I thought James kicked us really well and helped us win the game. In fact in the three games to date, our goal-kickers have been significant.
But I also thought James played well in general and gave us a chance to play in the right areas, the Lions coach said.
Geech has stated that its unlikely that his starting fifteen will play as a unit before the first Test, keeping his players on their toes, testing combinations, and keeping the opposition in the dark.
"The main thing was to get everyone playing in those first three games," McGeechan said. "Now, in the next three games it is to look at combinations.
"There are some risks, but I think what we get out of it as a squad far outweighs that.
"The only other way of doing it is you separate the teams and you say to half the squad 'You are not going to be involved in a Test match,' and I am not prepared to do that."
British & Irish Lions team to play the Sharks in Durban on Wednesday:
15. Lee Byrne 14. Shane Williams 13. Brian O'Driscoll 12. Jamie Roberts 11. Luke Fitzgerald 10. Ronan O'Gara 9. Mike Phillips 8. Jamie Heaslip 7. David Wallace 6. Tom Croft 5. Paul O'Connell 4. Alun-Wyn Jones 3. Adam Jones 2. Lee Mears 1. Gethin Jenkins
Replacements: 16. Matthew Rees 17. Phil Vickery 18. Simon Shaw 19. Joe Worsley 20. Mike Blair 21. Riki Flutey 22. Leigh Halfpenny