Wallabies vs Lions – the final test

Lealiifano vs Jamie Roberts

Who will win the final test between the British and Irish Lions and the Wallabies when the two meet for the third test in the series?

The Lions and Wallabies will be gearing up for the final test of the series between the two, that will be held in Sydney on Saturday, 6 July 2013.

The Australians have made a number of changes to the side since last week’s win, including the Wallaby veteran George Smith, who will start at number 7, alongside Mowen and Smith, who make up the remainder of the loose trio.

Michael Hooper then drops to the bench, but Wallabies coach Robbie Deans assures that its not based on form, but strategy.

“The decision to go with George in no way reflects any dis-satisfaction with the way either Michael or Liam have played,” Deans says.

“But it has been a tough series – the first two games have been rugged, especially at the breakdown, and we feel that the combination of experience and fresh legs that George brings is the right way to go for this week.”

Ben McCalman also arrives on the bench, and bolsters the forward division in place of Rob Horne, who falls out of the match-day squad.

The backline remains the same as last week, who proved to link up rather well with one another.

The Lions have made six changes, with the most notable omission being Brian O’Driscoll who falls out of the match-day 22 altogether.

Jamies Roberts and Jonathan Davies will then pair up in the midfield, adding some bulk and power to the centres in order to challenge Lealiifano and Ashley-Cooper.

Sean O’Brien (flank), Alex Corbisiero (prop) and Welsh trio Hibbard, Faletau and Phillips come into hooker, number 8 and scrumhalf respectively.

Richie Gray, Justin Tipuric and Manu Tuilagi warm the bench.

Rugby Informer’s take: everything is on the line for the final test, and both teams would have learned a lot from one another. It’s evident that the Lions are going with a physical approach, given their backline and forward selection, to outmuscle the Wallabies. The Australians having George Smith on their side should give Lealiifano the opportunity to take some shots at goal. Wallabies to win the match by 5, and therefore the series.

Wallabies – 15 Kurtley Beale, 14 Israel Folau, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Christian Lealiifano, 11 Joe Tomane, 10 James O’Connor, 9 Will Genia, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 George Smith, 6 Ben Mowen, 5 Kane Douglas, 4 James Horwill, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore,  1 Benn Robinson.
Subs: 16 Saia Fainga’a, 17 James Slipper, 18 Sekope Kepu, 19 Rob Simmons, 20 Michael Hooper, 21 Ben McCalman, 22 Nick Phipps, 23 Jesse Mogg.

British & Irish Lions – 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Tommy Bowe, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 George North, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Mike Phillips, 8 Toby Faletau, 7 Sean O’Brien, 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Alun Wyn Jones (c), 3 Adam Jones, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Alex Corbisiero.
Subs: 16 Tom Youngs, Mako Vunipola, 18 Dan Cole, 19 Richie Gray, 20 Justin Tipuric, 21 Conor Murray, 22 Owen Farrell, 23 Manu Tuilagi.

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