Advertisement

Genia and O'Connor team up as Australia name side for Lions Test

Robbie Deans has named three debutants in a starting XV to be captained by lock James Horwill.

Will Genia claims ahead of Rob Kearney at the 2011 World Cup.
Will Genia claims ahead of Rob Kearney at the 2011 World Cup.
Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

WALLABY COACH ROBBIE DEANS has named three debutants in his team to face the Lions in the First Test on Saturday.

Deans gives first international start to Israel Folau on the right wing, with the Brumbies pair of Christian Leali’ifano (inside centre) and Ben Mowen (blindside) also included. The starting team, captained by lock James Horwill, still boasts a combined 519 Test caps.

Waratahs’ versatile back Berrick Barnes gets the fullback berth ahead of Kurtley Beale, who starts on the bench, while Adam Ashley Cooper (outside centre) and Digby Ioane (left wing) are experienced and dangerous hands in the backline. The half back pairing is relatively untested at the top level – James O’Connor of Melbourne Rebels and Queensland Red scrumhalf Will Genia.

In the front row, hooker Stephen Moore will pack down between Ben Alexander and the dangerous Benn Robinson. Horwill is partnered in the second row by Kane Douglas of the NSW Waratahs.

The ‘Tahs provide two of the back row with Wycliff Palu and Michael Hooper lining out at the back of the Australia pack with new boy Mowen. Lions coach Warren Gatland names his starting XV at 3am on Tuesday morning.

Australia XV to play Lions: Berrick Barnes, Israel Folau, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Christian Leali’ifano, Digby Ioane; James O’Connor, Will Genia; Benn Robinson, Stephen Moore, Ben Alexander; Kane Douglas, James Horwill (c); Ben Mowen, Michael Hooper, Wycliff Palu.

Replacements: Saia Fainga’a, James Slipper, Sekope Kepu, Rob Simmons, Liam Gill, Nick Phipps, Pat McCabe, Kurtley Beale.

5 reasons the Wallabies will trounce the Lions… according to the Aussies

George North fitness lifts Lions for first Test

Exclusive
Rugby Analysis

Get Murray Kinsella's exclusive analysis on the URC interpros and Champions Cup clashes this December

Become a Member

About the author:

Patrick McCarry

Read next:

COMMENTS (2)