Dublin: 19°C Saturday 24 July 2021

Breakfast with Lions: Clueless Farrell, ice vests and Paulie does a 'Stan'

Your morning helping of British and Irish Lions red meat to help set you up for the day.

Paul O'Connell in his 'Tribute to Stan at USA 94' cap.
Paul O'Connell in his 'Tribute to Stan at USA 94' cap.
Image: David Davies/PA Wire.

THE BRITISH & IRISH LIONS Tour officially kicks off at midday. The four -year wait is almost over.

Every morning we will bring you the latest news, pictures, videos and antics from the Lions camp as well as insights and fair-dinkum bluster from the Australian camp.

On the Lions’ menu

First up for Warren Gatland’s men is an encounter with the world-famous Barbarians. Littered with a selection of rugby stars from across the globe, all in their club socks, the Baa Baa’s will look to fling the ball around as often as possible. Former All Blacks Joe Rokocoko and Nick Evans don’t do friendlies and there are a couple of Welshmen in there – James Hook and Paul James – that want to show Warren G what he’s missing.

Paul O’Connell’s – captain of the 2009 Lions – leads the team today in the absence of Sam Warburton with four Irishmen in reserve on the bench.

Sergio Parisse, who will captain the Barbarians team, took to Twitter at breakfast (Hong Kong time) to apologise to Irish rugby fans after he called today’s opponents The British Lions in a Sky TV interview. Apology accepted Sergio. Now, go easy on the lads.

Credit: @sergioparisse

Quote from the camp

Incredibly humid. I don’t even think it’s the heat; it’s the humidity. I think it peaked out at 35 degrees… we had these ice vests to put on, to cool us down at the end of sessions. We had fans spitting out water at us. There wasn’t that much chat going on over at them, let me tell ya.”

Brian O’Driscoll on stultifying Hong Kong

Pic of The Day

It was never this hot for Toby Faletau in the Welsh valleys. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

You’ve got to see this

The Aussies are upping the ante by any means possible ahead of the Lions’ arrival. This week they unveiled player and ball cameras that we’d love to see rolled out for the Test Series (but suspect the IRB may quibble about). Check out the cool video:

YouTube credit: Verobrand

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Lions on the prowl

Several of the squad visited the Happy Valley racetrack during the week, with Owen Farrell readily admitting ‘I don’t have a clue’ amid the pandemonium and betting frenzy of the main race. His English teammate showed a canny knack for the gee-gees as he backed a winner and flashed his winning ticket for all to see.

Tweet of The Day

Roberts issues a come and get me plea to the Barbarians:

Credit: @Jamiehuwroberts

What the Aussies say

“This Lions side is unusual in that there is only one charismatic player in the side, the player who used to be Brian O’Driscoll. The rest of the squad is talented and well-coached.”

Spiro Zavos in the Sydney Morning Herald

‘BIL’ watch

Despite several abductions and rough play down the back of the bus, BIL the mascot is still in one piece.

Stuart Hogg, BIL and Conor Murray. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

TheScore.ie will be liveblogging the Lions v Barbarians from 11:30am today.

Beer for breakfast and 7 more steps to the perfect Lions-watching party

Snapshot: Jonny Sexton gets in some Hong Kong kicking practice

About the author:

Patrick McCarry

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