Planet Rugby

The British & Irish Lions


Genia hails Hooper and Gill

21st June 2013 08:52


Australia training 2013  Michael Hooper breaks away

Real talent: Michael Hooper

Wallaby scrum-half Will Genia reckons that Michael Hooper and Liam Gill could play a vital role in the first Test of the 2013 Lions series on Saturday.

Lions coach Warren Gatland decided to go with Dan Lydiate on the bench ahead of Justin Tipuric and Sean O'Brien, which was a surprise to many.

Australia meanwhile are set to use Hooper for an hour and then bring on Gill as they look to gain the upper hand at the pivotal breakdown area.

"I don't know if it'll give us an edge (but) I think it's a massive strength for us," revealed Genia.

"We've got exceptional players like Michael Hooper who'll do a great job for us and then to have the luxury of someone like Liam Gill who can come on when it gets loose.

"Liam is great at the breakdown, he's great at pilfering," he added.

"He's just got a really good all-round game. When the game does get a little bit loose, having a little bit of a sevens background, he's got the ability to play with the ball in hand, and carry, and also get stuck into the tight stuff.

"We're very fortunate to have those two guys in the group."