Lions turn to Sexton
- 13 Jun 2013
Jonathan Sexton will start at flyhalf for the British & Irish Lions against the Waratahs on Saturday.
The team is a strong indicator of the plans for the first Test against the Wallabies in Brisbane next weekend and Sexton appears to have edged out Owen Farrell.
Winger Simon Zebo is brought in as an injury replacement for Tommy Bowe, while Sean Maitland will start on the other wing and Wales' Leigh Halfpenny at fullback.
There is no place for Brian O'Driscoll in midfield, with Jonathan Davies preferred.
'We are looking to finalise key playing combinations and strengthen our patterns of play during the next two matches,' Lions coach Warren Gatland said. 'This match, the fourth of our lead-up matches in Australia, will assist in this process.'
Meanwhile, utility-back Billy Twelvetrees has been added to the Lions' squad amidst growing fears about the fitness of some key players.
British & Irish Lions – 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Simon Zebo, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Mike Phillips, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Sam Warburton (c), 6 Tom Croft, 5 Paul O'Connell, 4 Alun Wyn Jones, 3 Adam Jones, 2 Tom Youngs, 1 Mako Vunipola.
Subs: 16 Richard Hibbard, 17 Alex Corbisiero, 18 Dan Cole, 19 Geoff Parling, 20 Dan Lydiate, 21 Ben Youngs, 22 Owen Farrell, 23 Rob Kearney.
Photo: David Rogers/Getty Images
Stander’s a standout performer
CJ Stander became the first non-Irishman to win Munster’s Player of the Year award and qualifies to play for Ireland after the World Cup. GERRY THORNLEY reports.
What we’ve learned
Five lessons from the Vodacom Super Rugby semi-finals and Springbok squad announcement, according to SIMON BORCHARDT.
Faf’s taking the gap
Faf de Klerk’s Super Rugby performances have put him in line for higher honours, writes BRENTON CHELIN.