Gatland has stayed with players he knows… even at skipper.
Eight new caps and eight welshmen in the 22 pretty much sums up the B&IL.
Gatland has straight out told the Wallabies to “expect a physical onslaught”. as he loaded his forwards with bruisers. Welsh skipper red carded at the 2011 RWC Sam Warburton skippers the side.
Veteran Brian ‘O Driscoll is the only player who played in the previous tour of downunder by the B&IL in 2001. Outside him giant speedster George North returns from injury. Jamie Roberts, Tommie Bowe and Manyu Tuilagi are the only players unavailable for selection which is testament to B&IL conditioning coaches.
Says Gatland: “The Wallabies at home pose a huge challenge but the Test team contains 20 of the players that played against the Waratahs in what was our best match to date.” He also reckons: “After six matches we have arrived at the first Test and have selected our strongest possible side…”
So what do you think? Will this combined Pommo side roll over the Wobblies in Brisbane… remembering the Pommos have NEVER lost in Brisbane in seven matches.
British and Irish Lions: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Brian O’Driscoll, 12 Jonathan Davies, 11 George North, 10 Johnny Sexton, 9 Mike Phillips, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Sam Warburton, 6 Tom Croft, 5 Paul O’Connell, 4 Alun Wyn Jones, 3 Adam Jones, 2 Tom Youngs, 1 Alex Corbisiero.
Replacements: 16 Richard Hibbard, 17 Mako Vunipola, 18 Dan Cole, 19 Geoff Parling, 20 Dan Lydiate, 21 Ben Youngs, 22 Owen Farrell, 23 Sean Maitland.