British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland (L) and captain Sam Warburton.
British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland (L) and captain Sam Warburton. David Rogers / Getty Images

Lions confident they can continue unbeaten start to Aus tour

IRISH winger Simon Zebo has not had to wait long to make his British and Irish Lions debut after being named in the side to play the Waratahs in Sydney tomorrow.

Zebo, who only arrived in Australia on Tuesday as an injury replacement for compatriot Tommy Bowe (hand), will line-up on the left wing, while New Zealand-born Sean Maitland will start on the right.

Fullback Rob Kearney is also set to make his first appearance of the tour off the bench after recovering from a hamstring injury.

Welsh flanker Sam Warburton, the tour captain, will lead the side coach Warren Gatland hopes will continue the four-game unbeaten start to the tour.

"It would be great to remain unbeaten and take that momentum into the first Test (in Brisbane next Saturday)," Gatland said.

"However, more importantly we are looking to finalise key playing combinations and strengthen our patterns of play during the next two matches (they take on the Brumbies on Tuesday).

"To beat the Waratahs we know we have to improve on our strong performance against the Reds. This side is more than capable of doing that."

Meanwhile centre Billy Twelvetrees has been called into the Lions squad as cover, and will arrive in Sydney from Argentina today where he was on tour with England.

He scored a try in England's 32-3 win over the Pumas in last week's first Test.

The Waratahs squad will be named today and was bolstered yesterday after flanker Dave Dennis and centre Rob Horne were released from the Wallabies' training camp on the Sunshine Coast to play.

They will join half-backs Bernard Foley and Ben Lucas in the Tahs squad after they were also released from the Australian sevens squad preparing for the IRB World Cup.


British and Irish Lions

  • Leigh Halfpenny
  • Sean Maitland
  • Jonathan Davies
  • Jamie Roberts
  • Simon Zebo
  • Jonathan Sexton
  • Mike Phillips
  • Jamie Heaslip
  • Sam Warburton (capt)
  • Tom Croft
  • Paul O'Connell
  • Alun Wyn Jones
  • Adam Jones
  • Tom Youngs
  • Mako Vunipola

Reserves: Richard Hibbard, Alex Corbisiero, Dan Cole, Geoff Parling, Dan Lydiate, Ben Youngs, Owen Farrell, Rob Kearney.

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