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Lions Confirm Team For Third Test

Lions Confirm Team For Third Test

The British & Irish Lions management have made eight changes, one positional, to the team for the third and final Test in the series against the Springboks in Johannesburg on Saturday.

British & Irish Lions tour manager Gerald Davies and head coach Ian McGeechan have announced the Lions team for the third Test against South Africa this weekend.

The selected side will be led once again by Munster and Ireland’s Paul O’Connell.

Davies said: “The tour has been a wonderful experience and the team spirit has confirmed the best traditions of the Lions continues.

“The players are determined to ensure that all their hard work during the 10-match tour is rewarded with a Test victory.

“There is no doubt that little has separated the British & Irish Lions and the Springboks so far in what has been a tremendous series. Saturday should prove to be another great match.”

Commenting on the team selection, McGeechan said: “A Lions tour is a unique experience for players in the busy, modern professional rugby calendar.

“The 2009 Lions have thrown themselves into the spirit of the tour, have interacted with the people of South Africa and shown themselves to be great ambassadors for northern Hemisphere rugby.

“As a squad they have met many challenges on the tour including playing two matches per week, the inevitable injuries and two narrow Test losses.

“Despite this they have remained a tight, focused squad and I know those playing in the third Test will give their all to ensure that we achieve a victory on Saturday.”

He added: “It is fair to say injuries have had an impact on the tour as you would expect including selection for the third Test as we were unfortunate to lose Brian O’Driscoll, Jamie Roberts, Gethin Jenkins and Adam Jones through injury last Saturday.

“However, the players coming into the starting line-up are all talented international players and are as keen as ever to turn the tables on the Springboks. Last Saturday we were minutes away from winning and that is a huge positive to take into the third Test.

“Andrew Sheridan, Joe Worsley and Martyn Williams will all be part of a Lions starting side for the first time.

“Stephen Jones, Mike Phillips, skipper Paul O’Connell and Jamie Heaslip will earn the distinction of being in the team for all three Test matches.”

BRITISH & IRISH LIONS TEAM/REPLACEMENTS (v South Africa, 2009 Lions Tour Third Test, Saturday, July 4, Coca-Cola Park, kick-off 3pm local time/2pm Irish time):

15. Rob Kearney (Leinster/Ireland)
Ugo Monye (Harlequins/England)
13. Tommy Bowe (Ospreys/Ireland)
12. Riki Flutey (London Wasps/England)
11. Shane Williams (Ospreys/Wales)
10. Stephen Jones (Scarlets/Wales)
9. Mike Phillips (Ospreys/Wales)
1. Andrew Sheridan (Sale Sharks/England)
2. Matthew Rees (Scarlets/Wales)
3. Phil Vickery (London Wasps/England)
4. Simon Shaw (London Wasps/England)
5. Paul O’Connell (Munster/Ireland) (capt)
Joe Worsley (London Wasps/England)
7. Martyn Williams (Cardiff Blues/Wales)
8. Jamie Heaslip (Leinster/Ireland)

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16. Ross Ford (Edinburgh/Scotland)
17. John Hayes (Munster/Ireland)
Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys/Wales)
19. David Wallace (Munster/Ireland)
20. Tom Croft (Leicester Tigers/England)
21. Harry Ellis (Leicester Tigers/England)
22. James Hook (Ospreys/Wales)