Manu Tuilagi and Brian O'Driscoll are two of Warren Gatland's centre options. Image courtesy of lionsrugby.com/Dan Sheridan
There are unlikely to be too many changes to the British and Irish Lions team which scraped home 23-21 against the Wallabies on Saturday night, but members of the back-up squad get the chance to push individual cases for selection against the Melbourne Rebels on Tuesday night at AAMI Park. It’s also a chance for the second stringers to make up for their 14-12 loss to a depleted ACT Brumbies outfit in their tour match a week ago.
The Rebels have struggled once again in Super Rugby this season and their task against the Lions won’t be made any easier given stars James O’Connor, Kurtley Beale and Nick Phipps are on Wallaby duty. Damien Hill’s forward pack has received a boost, though, with Hugh Pyle and Jarrod Saffy returning from injury for this clash. The most notable inclusion, however, is 37-Test veteran Luke Burgess. The scrum-half has been plying his trade in France for the past couple of seasons, but was desperate to make it back to Australia to have a shot at taking on the Lions.
Rampaging centre Manu Tuilagi makes his return from a shoulder injury for the Lions. It’s his first game back since the Lions just got over the line against the Queensland Reds, and given James Roberts’ injury concern, he will almost certainly come in to calculations for the second Test on Saturday night. Four forwards who started on the bench in the first Test – Dan Lydiate, Geoff Parling, Richard Hibberd and Dan Cole – will turn out against the Rebels.
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