O'Driscoll to lead Lions in second match - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

O'Driscoll to lead Lions in second match

01/06/2009 09:46:07 PM Comments (0)

Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll has been named to skipper the British and Irish Lions in their second match of their South African tour when they face the Golden Lions at Ellis Park on Wednesday.

The starting team contains five players who'll be wearing the famous red jersey for the first time, while a further six men on the replacements bench have yet to represent the Lions.

Only three players who started against the Royal XV in Rustenburg on Saturday - a match won 37-25 by the tourists - get another start against the provincial team from Johannesburg.

They are winger Tommy Bowe, inside centre Jamie Roberts and David Wallace, who moves from No.8 to the flank.

Six of the bench-sitters last Saturday, however, have been elevated to the starting XV.

"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 when the team was announced.

"The first three matches of this tour were set aside so that we could have a look at everyone."

McGeechan said the team had a "very solid core" with men such as O'Driscoll, Stephen Jones, Wallace, Phil Vickery and Gethin Jenkins all filling key roles in the side.

"They are all very experienced internationals and previous Lions tourists," said McGeechan.

"David Wallace now has the opportunity to play at openside flanker following his selection at No 8 against the Royal XV.

"Stephen Jones who was a replacement in the last match, but did not get a run, links up with his Welsh team-mate and scrumhalf Mike Phillips giving the team an experienced halfback combination."

McGeechan added that the team had done a lot work on several key areas since Saturday's match in Rustenburg.

"We're just one game into the tour, but have to keep developing our game. Hopefully we'll take a few more steps in the right direction on Wednesday."

Meanwhile, the Golden Lions team, also named on Monday morning, shows no significant changes to the side that featured during this year's Super 14 competition.

The most significant absentee is Springbok centre Jaque Fourie, who is expected to be named in the Springbok squad Monday evening.

The Golden Lions have a new coach in Hans Coetzee, who'll be in charge for the first time on Wednesday, following the axing last week of Eugene Eloff.

British and Irish Lions team (15-1)

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 (15-1)

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

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