Countdown for the British and Irish Lions Tour!

17/05/2013 no comments »
Photo: HKRFU

Photo: HKRFU

The British and Irish Lions squad has been selected and now the countdown is on for the first game of the tour, namely a warm up game against the Barbarians in Hong Kong on the 1st of June.

Because the Top Fourteen, Super Rugby, Aviva Premiership and the RaboDirect Pro twelve seasons are reaching their conclusions, the players are all still putting their bodies on the line; an example of this is legendary Irish centre Brian O’Driscoll who had to leave the field in Leinster’s game against Glasgow yesterday with a back injury.

Another Lion and Leinster teammate Sean O’Brien had a calf injury so sat out the same game, he like O’Driscoll are both fitness concerns for the start of the tour. Meanwhile the Australian’s also have their problems, with versatile back James O’Connor currently nursing a sternum injury sustained in Melbourne Rebels 36-32 defeat to Auckland Blues yesterday.

Other issues that Australia are encountering are the loss of flanker David Pocock with a serious knee injury sustained back in March, this is a significant blow to the Wallabies as his play at the breakdown is up there with the best in World Rugby. Kurtley Beale is another player who is giving the Australian team some concern, as he has had numerous disciplinary problems with his provincial side Melbourne Rebels, and has only returned to their squad after suspension.

One positive for the wallabies is former Rugby League International Israel Falou, who could become the surprise inclusion in the starting team for the first test, as his recent form for the Waratahs has been excellent. The British and Irish Lions also have positives within their camp, as England flanker Tom Croft and his Leicester Tigers teammate Toby Flood were outstanding their recent 33-16 Aviva Premiership semi-final victory over Champions Harlequins.

Whist in the other semi-final Northampton Captain and another potential British and Irish Lion Dylan Hartley led his team to a shock win away at Saracens to set up the final meeting with the Tigers. In the RaboDirect Pro Twelve, Tommy Bowe and Jamie Heaslip were try scorers in Ulster’s and Leinster’s semi-final wins to further enhance their test selection claims.

There will be other developments and surprises before the tour gets underway, but this will all add to the anticipation and ensure that all the British and Irish Lions matches are all fascinating spectacles. British and Irish Lions Tickets available here!

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