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13th Jun 2013

Simon Zebo named in Lions team for Saturday

The Munster man gets the nod to make his first Lions appearance against the Waratahs while there is also good news for a Leinster pair.

JOE

The Munster man gets the nod to make his first Lions appearance against the Waratahs while there is also good news for a Leinster pair.

Last Saturday Simon Zebo was in Houston to play the USA. This Saturday he will be in Sydney making his Lions debut. Despite only joining up with the squad on Tuesday, Warren Gatland has handed Simon Zebo a shot at making the Lions Test team by naming him on the left wing for the big warm-up game against the NSW Waratahs on Saturday.

It’s a huge opportunity for the Munster man to stake a claim for a place just a week before the first game against the Wallabies.

But Zebo wasn’t the only Irish international to get a boost today. Jonny Sexton, a slight worry in recent days because of a tight hamstring, has been named to start at 10 while Rob Kearney, whose tour was in doubt after another hamstring injury, has been named on the bench.

The XV Gatland has selected has a very ‘Test’ look to it. Captained by Sam Warburton, Paul O’Connell lines out in the second row with Alun Wyn Jones while Jamie Heaslip will play at Number 8.

Zebo, Sexton, O’Connell and Kearney are the only Irish players to make the matchday squad with Welsh duo Jamie Roberts and Jonathan Davies the centre pairing, and another Welsh man, Mike Phillips, takes the scrum-half jersey. It looks a very strong side and it should pose a huge challenge to Michael Cheika’s Waratahs team. Kick-off in Sydney is at 11am on Saturday and we can’t wait.

British and Irish Lions XV: L Halfpenny; S Maitland, J Davies, J Roberts, S Zebo; J Sexton, M Phillips; M Vunipola, T Youngs, A Jones, A-W Jones, P O’Connell, T Croft, S Warburton (capt), J Heaslip.
Replacements: R Hibbard, A Corbisiero, D Cole, G Parling, D Lydiate, B Youngs, O Farrell, R Kearney.

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