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The British & Irish Lions


Lions treated with contempt - Woodward

05th June 2013 08:45


Stuart Hogg with BIL on his back

The Lions: Losing it's shine?

Sir Clive Woodward has hit out at the Western Force for their decision to field a weakened side against the Lions on Wednesday.

Force coach Michael Foley has decided to rest some key players for the tour match, with his side set to face the Waratahs on Saturday in an encounter that for all intents and purposes is a dead rubber.

The decision has been met with widespread condemnation and Woodward has joined the chorus taking aim at the Force.

"It is unacceptable and disgraceful to cobble together a weakened, second-string club team to play against some of the best players in the world on one of the great rugby tours," Woodward, who led the Lions to New Zealand in 2005, wrote in the Daily Mail.

"Having lived and worked in Australia for five years, there is no bigger supporter of Australian sport but what on earth is going on? Can you imagine Leicester inviting the All Blacks to Welford Road and putting out a second-string side? It simply would not happen.

"Treating the Lions with such contempt threatens to undermine their status in the global game.

"The Lions come to Australia once every 12 years but if this is how they are going to be treated in this country then they should seriously consider whether to return."