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The British & Irish Lions


Lions selection pleases Woodward

20th June 2013 13:11


sir clive woodward

In agreement: Sir Clive Woodward

Former British and Irish Lions head coach Sir Clive Woodward has given the selection for Saturday's first Test with Australia his backing.

Woodward, who led England to World Cup glory in 2003, believed the selection of Alex Corbisiero ahead of Mako Vunipola was the right call in a strong side.

The former Lions boss also conceded that in-form back-rowers Justin Tipuric and Sean O'Brien had been unlucky to not make the 23.

"It's a very good team," said Woodward.

"I think, to be fair, I would have picked Corbisiero if I was on the inside knowing he's fit. He's definitely, when he's fully fit, ahead of (Mako) Vunipola so I think it's a very strong team.

"Speaking to all the media, everyone seems pretty happy with it.

"The back-row is incredibly strong but I think you need a bit of luck on Lions tours as well.

"I think that in the team that played the Waratahs last week (and) the three back rows were outstanding, you know, (Tom) Croft, (Jamie) Heaslip and (Sam) Warbuton.

"It's been tough on (Justin) Tipuric and (Sean) O'Brien, especially, because they've not played in the big games but, you know, that's part of it. But that's just the first Test match, you can play your way back into the Test match.

"I think the team played really well last Saturday night and that's given everyone the nod."