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Lions shock with Williams selection

 Jun 16,2013
Written by: SARugby.com Editor
 

Former Wales wing Shane Williams is a shock inclusion in the British and Irish Lions side for Tuesday's clash with the Brumbies in Canberra.

Ireland hooker has been named as the side's captain while England centre Billy Twelvetrees, who arrived in Sydney on Friday, will make his Lions debut alongside Brad Barritt, who is flying to Australia from the United States, where he was on vacation.

Williams will start on the left wing while England winger Christian Wade, who made his Test debut last week against Argentina, will play on the right.

Lions coach Warren Gatland has said many of the players for the Brumbies match would likely not feature in the first Test against Australia next Saturday in Brisbane due to the four-day turnaround between matches.

The 36-year-old Williams will fly in on Monday from Japan, where is playing for the Mitsubishi Dynabours.

Williams played the last of his 87 tests for Wales against Australia in 2011, scoring his 58th international try with his last touch of the game.

His last international match was for the Barbarians against Wales in 2012 and he is in his second season playing in Japan.

He was on the Lions' tours of New Zealand in 2005 and South Africa in 2009, scoring two tries in the third-test win over the Springboks, and has played in four Lions tests.

Gatland and the Lions are concerned over the fitness of inside center Jamie Roberts for the first Test. Roberts suffered a possible torn right hamstring in the Lions 47-17 win over New South Wales on Saturday - their fifth consecutive victory on the tour - and will have scans on Sunday to determine the extent of the injury.

Also carrying injuries in the back-line are wing George North (hamstring) and center Manu Tuilagi (shoulder). Ireland winger Tommy Bowe is already out of Test consideration due to a broken hand.

Later Sunday, Brumbies coach Jake White said Wallabies squad member Peter Kimlin would captain his side against the Lions.

Both the Lions and Australia will announce their first-test lineups on Thursday in Brisbane.

The Lions, who will play two more tests against the Wallabies - on June 29 in Melbourne and July 6 in Sydney - are trying to win their first series since beating South Africa in 1997. They lost 2-1 to Australia in 2001, 3-0 to New Zealand in 2005 and 2-1 to South Africa in 2009.

British and Irish Lions: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Christian Wade, 13 Brad Barritt, 12 Billy Twelvetrees, 11 Shane Williams, 10 Stuart Hogg, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Toby Faletau, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Sean O'Brien, 5 Richie Gray, 4 Ian Evans, 3 Matt Stevens, 2 Rory Best (c), 1 Ryan Grant.
Replacements: 16 Richard Hibbard, 17 Alex Corbisiero, 18 Dan Cole, 19 Geoff Parling), 20 Dan Lydiate, 21 Conor Murray, 22 Owen Farrell, 23 Simon Zebo.

Date: Tuesday, June 18
Venue: Canberra Stadium, Canberra
Kick-off: 19.30 local (10:30 BST, 09:30 GMT)
Referee: Jérôme Garcès (France)

 

 
 
 
 

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