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Gatland rings changes for second Test

27 June 2013

  • Ben Youngs, Geoff Parling and Mako Vunipola come into starting line-up
  • Dan Lydiate and Tommy Bowe also brought back in for second Test
Tom Youngs and Ben Youngs chase a kick-off

Photo: Getty Images

Brothers Tom and Ben Youngs start for the British and Irish Lions in Melbourne with Warren Gatland making five changes starting line-up ahead of the second Test against Australia on Saturday.

Scrum half Ben comes in for Mike Phillips after the Welshman’s difficult night at Suncorp Stadium sees him dropped from the 23 altogether – Conor Murray entrusted with the number 20 jersey on the bench.

And, continuing an extremely successful season at domestic and international level, Tom retains his place at hooker, the pair become the first siblings to start a Lions Test match since the Gavin and Scott Hastings in 1989.

Elsewhere, Dan Lydiate replaces Tom Croft on the blindside, the other unforced change seeing Tommy Bowe – miraculously recovered from a broken hand sustained just two weeks ago – usurp first Test try-scorer Alex Cuthbert.

As hinted earlier this week, Mako Vunipola and Geoff Parling also make the team after Alex Corbisiero (calf) and Paul O’Connell (arm) were ruled out of the Lions’ attempt to seal the series at the Eithad Stadium.

In a rather innovative move from Gatland, Croft’s demotion means he will be covering lock, while the versatile Sean O’Brien is finally rewarded for some eye-catching performances on the tour and is brought in as another back-row option.

Tommy Bowe

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Loosehead Ryan Grant moves up from the midweek side, too, but there is no place for his Scotland and Glasgow Warriors teammate Sean Maitland, whose bench spot goes to Cuthbert.

Gatland said: "We said after the First Test that we had improvement in us and we are confident that this is the case.

"Several players have put their hands up this week and have forced their way into the Test side while several players have returned to fitness.

"That is typical of Lions tours. We want players to constantly push for selection, we then select who is on form and who is available. Based on that we have selected a squad that is capable of winning the Test and securing the series."

British and Irish Lions side to face Australia in the second Test at Melbourne on Saturday, June 29 (kick-off 11.00am BST) 

15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Tommy Bowe, 13 Brian O'Driscoll, 12 Jonathan Davies, 11 George North, 10 Jonny Sexton, 9 Ben Youngs, 1 Mako Vunipola, 2 Tom Youngs, 3 Adam Jones, 4 Alun Wyn Jones, 5 Geoff Parling, 6 Dan Lydiate, 7 Sam Warburton, 8 Jamie Heaslip.

Replacements: 16 Richard Hibbard, 17 Ryan Grant, 18 Dan Cole, 19 Tom Croft, 20 Sean O'Brien, 21 Conor Murray, 22 Owen Farrell, 23 Alex Cuthbert.