The Lions have named a strong side to avoid the Canberra embarrassment
The Rebs have no chance…
Players to watch:
For the Rebels: You will look to the more established players, like captain Gareth Delve, Hugh Pyle, Laurie Weeks, Ged Robinson, and Nic Henderson. They are the players who must lay the platform for a Rebels upset.
For the British and Irish Lions: You will see who can possibly put up their hands for a spot in the Test matchday squad – Manu Tuilagi, Brad Barritt, Sean O’Brien, Ian Evans, Richie Gray, Dan Cole and Richard Hibbard.
Head to head: While all games are dependant on the quality of the possession provided by the forwards, it is still important what the halfbacks do with it – leaving us with the intriguing contest between Bryce Hegarty and Luke Burgess (Rebels) up against Owen Farrell and Conor Murray (B&I Lions).
These teams have not met before
Prediction: There Rebels’ form throughout the Super Rugby season has been patchy, although recent home wins against the Stormers and Waratahs proved there is potential in head coach Damien Hill’s outfit. However, there should be too much momentum on the Lions side of the fence for them to slip up again. The B&I Lions to win by 15 to 20 points.
Rebels: 15 Jason Woodward, 14 Tom English, 13 Mitch Inman, 12 Rory Sidey, 11 Lachlan Mitchell, 10 Bryce Hegarty, 9 Luke Burgess, 8 Gareth Delve (captain), 7 Scott Fuglistaller, 6 Jarrod Saffy, 5 Hugh Pyle, 4 Cadeyrn Neville, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 Ged Robinson, 1 Nic Henderson.
Replacements: 16 Pat Leafa, 17 Cruze Ah-Nau, 18 Paul Alo-Emile, 19 Luke Jones, 20 Jordy Reid, 21 Nic Stirzaker, 22 Angus Roberts, 23 Cooper Vuna.
British and Irish Lions: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 Simon Zebo, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Tangaki Taulupe Faletau, 7 Sean O’Brien, 6 Dan Lydiate (captain), 5 Ian Evans, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Ryan Grant.
Replacements: 16 Rory Best, 17 Tom Court, 18 Matt Stevens, 19 Tom Croft, 20 Justin Tipuric, 21 Ben Youngs, 22 Billy Twelvetrees, 23 Stuart Hogg.
Date: Tuesday, June 25
Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne
Kick-off: 19.40 (10.40 UK & Ireland time, 09.40 GMT)
Expected weather: Partly cloudy, with a 20 percent chance of rain. Winds of 15 to 20 km/h. High of 16°C, low of 6°C
Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Romain Poite (France), Craig Joubert (South Africa)
TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)