Lions team to face Melbourne Rebels

lionsGeoff Parling has been named captain of a strong-looking British and Irish Lions side to take on the Melbourne Rebels on Tuesday. Most of the substitutes from Saturday’s first test feature, and Manu Tuilagi is back fit and named in the centre alongside Brad Barritt.

British and Irish Lions team v Melobourne Rebels
15. Rob Kearney (Leinster / Ireland)
14. Sean Maitland (Glasgow Warriors / Scotland)
13. Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers / England)
12. Brad Barritt (Saracens / England)
11. Simon Zebo (Munster / Ireland)
10. Owen Farrell (Saracens / England)
9. Conor Murray (Munster / Ireland)
1. Ryan Grant (Glasgow Warriors / Scotland)
2. Richard Hibbard (Ospreys / Wales)
3. Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers / England)
4. Richie Gray (Scotland)
5. Geoff Parling (Leicester Tigers / England, captain)
6. Dan Lydiate (Dragons / Wales)
7. Sean O’Brien (Leinster / Ireland)
8. Toby Faletau (Dragons / Wales)

16. Rory Best (Ulster / Ireland)
17. Makovina Vunipola (Saracens / England)
18. Matt Stevens (Saracens / England)
19. Ian Evans (Ospreys / Wales)
20. Justin Tipuric (Ospreys / Wales)
21. Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers / England)
22. Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester / England)
23. Stuart Hogg (Glasgow Warriors / Scotland)

20 thoughts on “Lions team to face Melbourne Rebels

  1. I would have rested Murray, Lydiate and Faletau and picked them second test instead of Phillips, Croft and Heaslip.

  2. Tips on the bench ?? maybe keeping him fresh for next Saturday ?.
    Strong looking side, chances for Toby F,DL, SoB & Mano to put their names in the hat for the test ….

  3. Rebels side

    1. Nic Henderson , 2. Ged Robinson , 3. Laurie Weeks , 4. Cadeyrn Neville , 5. Hugh Pyle , 6. Jarrod Saffy , 7. Scott Fuglistaller , 8. Gareth Delve (c) , 9. Luke Burgess^ , 10. Bryce Hegarty , 11. Lachlan Mitchell , 12. Rory Sidey , 13. Mitch Inman , 14. Tom English , 15. Jason Woodward

    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

    *Rebels debut ,
    ^Rebels first start

  4. Would like to see SOB and Manu having only half a game. Then keep them rested for the 2nd test. Manu to start at 12, and SOB on the bench.

    I think Ben Youngs should be used sparingly, if at all, in this match. Personally I would have gone for Youngs to start the 2nd test. Either way, keep him as fresh as possible, because another game like that from Phillips, and he needs to be hauled off

  5. It’s a shame MT has to start outside Barritt, Farrell and Murray, I’m not sure they’re the ones to bring the best out of him, i.e. getting him running at speed at defences. Hopefully Zebo can show what he’s got and oust Cuthbert from the second test, although that’s not likely at all. Generally a strong team though, would love to see some better control at the base from Faletau than we saw from Heaslip.

    1. Fair point about Manu not going to see a huge amount of ball. Having said that, Barritt won’t be too much of an issue, as Manu will get passes straight from Farrell. But like I say, still not the best. Hopefully he won’t have too busy a game and can be fresh for the 2nd test.

      I would like Zebo over Cuthbert. But it is unlikely. However, Tommy Bowe is back, so that is a much more likely shout. Bowe and North would be immense.

      1. Yeah I suppose that’s fair, I kinda think that Gatland is already thinking of playing MT in the test and is just giving him a non too stressful run out against fairly weak oppo (would like to see him running straight at/between the Rebels’ 9 and 10). Now Bowe I would love to see back, not as big as Cuthbert but infinitely more skillful and much more intelligent.

        I see what you’re saying about passes from Farrell, but Murray has proved a bit useless at giving good quality quick ball (much like Phillips), the forwards need to be much more organised than yesterday (not hitting rucks at random angles and times).

        1. Also, I’m surprised 36 isn’t in instead of Barritt! How long will we have to wait to see them play together properly!? My only thought is that Gatland is nursing Tuilagi slightly by soaking up any pressure for MT to do anything silly by having a tackle machine next to him.

  6. Breakdown was a problem, SOB can play 6 but offer more at the breakdown than Croft, We also made a lot of yards through the middle and SOB is our most dynamic ball carrier.

    Tupuric on the bench to replace Warbs and get some fresh legs at 7, same issue with the breakdown.

    However, Croft is our main lineout option and a good one, other than winning lineout it ment AUS didn’t want to kick for the sidelines this led to some bad kicks which offered a certain winger counter attacking oppurtunities. To leave Croft out is a big call. I don’t know both players are valid options.

    Tullagi will be on the bench if he makes it through half the rebels match. If the Lions can’t get past the gainline, he is an impact option, he can make the hard yards through the middle of the park. Davis is playing well but Manu offers something else, he can turn slow first phase ball into go forward. He scares the AUSSIES more than our other centres. The AUS midfield is battered AAC McCabe are injured, I don’t think anybody fancies tackling manu.

    Phillips or Youngs is a big call but I can see Phillips getting the call.

  7. Revealing as to who will be in the second test. Looks as though the back row will stay the same. This is an area that I am really undecided about, I have to admit. I’m not sure that we have a World class combination there at the moment, World class players yes, but not the right combination. Warburton isn’t at his best, Lydiate isn’t firing on all cylinders at the moment, Croft playing a tighter game that isn’t his most natural game, similar with Heaslip really, but Faletau hasn’t sparkled. Would quite like to see SoB playing, but who for? Anyway from this team looks as though as you were, except maybe the bench.

    Phillips has to go to the bench, but definitely not for Murray.

    1. Just rewatched the highlights.

      Totally agree about Phillips.

      For the first try he did a huge amount wrong. The ball was out, he just left it and let Robinson dive on it. Once the Aussies got the pen, he gets turned inside out by genia (not great, but I won’t blame him, the issue comes after) once getting turned by genia, he gives up the chase and jogs. That is an appalling lack of commitment on both counts from Phillips (should have dived on the ball or at least tried to get it out, then gives up the chase).

      I think (much like Chris Ashton in the 6Ns) that Phillips has been given the impression he is bullet proof and “essential” to the gameplan. Youngs is far from perfect, but I think he would have been better. Also (I hate agreeing with Stuart Barnes) Youngs has actually been the form 9 on tour, but Phillips fits what Gatland wants. This is a pretty silly selection in my eyes. Chuck into the pot all the times Mowen man handled Phillips, and his aimless box kicking that was A) too long and B) right down the middle of the field to the most threatening counter attacking team in the world, and you have a receipe for disaster.

      Phillips’s kicking was so poor (and long) that genia dropped all the way back to fullback with Barnes – this is why sexton found space with chips, because genia knew Phillips was going to kick too long, that he actually went out of where he should have been.

      1. In fact. Folau’s 2nd try can be traced to Phillips. The lions were in possession, and Phillips aimlessly kicked the ball away. Not a competitive kick, too long to chase. Barnes gathered it easily and the Aussies phases began to build from there…

  8. I’m finding this really difficult because I am loath to drop Tom Croft, having watched the game about 10 times I think Croft had a really solid game because he had to, I would love to play him and SOB but how? SOB at 8? Is he going to be good at controlling the ball if we have scrum problems? I don’t want to drop Croft or Warburton they kept the Aussie back row quiet and their support play and lineouts were good but how to get SOB into the team? We showed that we could outpower them in the middle, add manu and SOB to that and we can make holes. How to do it?

    1. 8 or bench are the only real options.

      I would go for bench. Heaslip was alright in the first test, good in the lineout. Control at the base needs improving, but elsewhere he was solid.

      SOB can come on and carry at tired legs. Plus he covers all positions, which means you don’t have to pre plan the sub, you can do it based on actual performances.

      1. Kinda wish morgan was on tour. But yeah think is id really like to see croft and SOB playing together, the link play of croft and the power of SOB will be good against the aussies.

      2. iv’e always liked the idea of SOB at 8, when he’s played there for Leinster he’s looked good.

  9. O’Connell out of Second Test and Tour, No Replacement Called for (as yet!)Parling to come in to Second Test. Tom Court (Ireland) Called up for Corbisiero.

  10. Was hoping 36 would start, but I’m sure he will have a reasonable run at 10 in the second half.

    After the first test Corbs (if fit), Youngs, Jones, AWJ, Warburton, Sexton, North and 1/2p really ‘owned’ the shirt (Warburton has had better games but he’s not going anywhere, especially with the loss of POC). Bowe’s early tour form likely to see him straight back in the 23, but other than that I think there are lots of opportunities for these guys to put pressure on the test team. Hopefully this will result in a far better effort that last weeks showing.

  11. It’s an interesting bench as far as back line goes. Youngs for Murray obviously, but 36 and Hogg? One would assume 36 is fly half/centre cover, and Hogg is back three cover, but that would mean either Farrell or Tuilagi will play the whole match? Unless he is planning to play Kearney for the full 80 and Hogg covers fly half and 36 comes on for Tuilagi.
    He definitely needs to sub Farrell at some point to keep him fresh for Saturday. And unless he has no intention of playing Tuilagi on Saturday, he will need a rest as well. Could be very interesting come subs time tomorrow!?

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