Planet Rugby

The British & Irish Lions


Corbisiero to make Lions bow

09th June 2013 10:49


Alex Corbisiero joined the squad on the field before kick off

First start: Alex Corbisiero

England prop Alex Corbisiero has been named in the side for the British and Irish Lions match against a Combined Country XV on Tuesday.

Corbisiero flew in from England's tour of Argentina earlier this week following Cian Healy's serious ankle injury that ruled him out of the tour.

Another replacement prop, Scotland loosehead Ryan Grant, is named on the bench after Gethin Jenkins (calf injury) was also ruled out of the tour.

"The Reds game was always going to be a big challenge, and I was delighted at the victory and the way we were tested," said Lions head coach Warren Gatland.

"It was a very physical match, as we knew it would be. We now move on to Newcastle and another challenge.

"This team to play Country includes three players - Richie Gray, Alex Cuthbert and Stuart Hogg - who are starting their second game in a row, plus another, George North, who came off the bench early against the Reds.

"This is the nature of Lions tours as we adapt to injuries and playing twice a week."

"We are delighted to have kept our unbeaten record intact," said Lions manager Andy Irvine.

"We were pushed all the way by an extremely skilful and committed Reds team that played some brilliant intuitive rugby.

"However, I was incredibly proud of the way we responded and how we defended right to the bitter end. The win will be a tremendous boost to our confidence for the forthcoming Test series.

"We are getting stronger each week, combinations are starting to take shape and we will be determined to head for Sydney next Saturday with another sound win."

Lions: 15 Sean Maitland, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Brian O'Driscoll (c), 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 George North, 10 Stuart Hogg, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Jami Heaslip, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Sean O'Brien, 5 Ian Evans, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Alex Corbisiero.
Replacements: 16 Rory Best, 17 Ryan Grant, 18 Matt Stevens, 19 Alun Wyn Jones, 20 Toby Faletau, 21 Mike Phillips, 22 Jonathan Davies, 23 Leigh Halfpenny.

Date: Tuesday, June 11
Kick-off: 19:30 local (10:30 BST, 09:30 GMT)
Venue: Hunter Stadium, Newcastle
Referee: Jérôme Garcès (France)