British and Irish Lions 2013: Sam Warburton to make bow as captain against Queensland Reds
The Welsh flanker has missed the first two warm-up matches through injury
Lions skipper Sam Warburton will make his tour bow this Saturday against a Queensland Reds side featuring the controversial Quade Cooper.
Warburton, who missed the first two games of the trip with a knee injury, has been named in the starting line-up.
Cooper, meanwhile, will feature in a strong team full of big-name talents and both players will have much to prove.
Warburton has already seen two fellow flankers, Wales team-mate Justin Tipuric and Irishman Sean O’Brien, deliver eye-catching displays.
Cooper, out of favour with the Aussies since describing the Wallaby environment as “toxic”, will effectively be auditioning for a place in the Test series.
“This Lions experience has felt special, even though I haven’t been playing,” said Warburton, who will become the 800th player to represent the Lions.
“I certainly haven’t felt left out of things. But I’ve been thinking about this match for two or three weeks now and I can’t wait to get on the pitch and put in a decent display.
“I think Cooper will pose a different attacking threat to anything we’ve faced so far. It will be good for us: we don’t want our defence to be undercooked come the Tests.”
Warren Gatland, the Lions head coach, promised to give every player a start in the first three matches and has delivered on his pledge — only the injured Irish full-back Rob Kearney will be awaiting a first appearance after the Queensland contest.
Much interest will be focused on the Lions midfield, where Manu Tuilagi, the England centre, will have an opportunity in his favoured No13 position, with the gifted Jonathan Davies, of Wales, moving inside to fill the No12 berth.
Cian Healy, the prop who picked up a nasty ankle injury during yesterday’s victory over Western Force in Perth, will appear at a disciplinary hearing tonight to answer a charge of biting. His tour is virtually over anyway.
“He’s hobbling around and his prospects don’t look good,” said Gatland.
British and Irish Lions team to play Queensland Reds on Saturday...
Hogg; Cuthbert, Tuilagi, Davies, Bowe; Farrell, B Youngs; Jenkins, T Youngs, Stevens, Gray, Parling, Lydiate, Warburton (capt), Faletau.
Replacements: Hibbard, Vunipola, Jones, O'Connell, Tipuric, Murray, Sexton, North.
Chelsea vs Manchester United: Jose Mourinho dismisses United injury worries, saying 'they have an amazing squad'
Aaron Hernandez: American Football in the dock as NFL star player's murderous double life is revealed
Chelsea vs Manchester United: Why Blues are the least popular team in the league
Arsene Wenger compares talk of Jurgen Klopp replacing him at Arsenal to a 'circus'
Chelsea vs Manchester United combined XI: Thibaut Courtois or David De Gea? Juan Mata or Willian? Who makes our team?
- 1 BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
- 2 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 3 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 4 'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
Russian warships in English Channel 'to conduct anti-aircraft and anti-submarine military drills'