Euro finals affect Lions selection

Mon, 13 May 2013 15:02
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B&I Lions coach Warren Gatland said players who are not involved in European finals could have an advantage for the first Test against Australia.

British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland said Monday that players who have no involvement in upcoming domestic and European finals could give themselves an advantage when it comes to gaining a place for the first Test against Australia.

Gatland added he faced a nervous wait over the next few weeks, with several of his 37-man squad involved in major matches - the likes of Ulster, Leinster, Leicester Tigers and Northampton Saints.

Those players not involved in those club finals will be the ones who will face the Barbarians in the Lions' tour opener in Hong Kong on June 1.

"The first three-and-a-half weeks will be about preparation for the first Test," Gatland said.

"The players that prepare for that first game [in Hong Kong] are going to have the biggest advantage on tour.

"They are the players not involved in the finals so they are going to have the best preparation in the next couple of weeks. The players coming back from finals are going to be at a disadvantage because of their lack of preparation time.

"So, the team that plays the Barbarians should be in reasonable shape in terms of their preparations in the next couple of weeks."

But Gatland insisted he did not want players holding themselves back while on club duty in order to save themselves for the Lions.

"It's tough for the players in terms of they know a few days after a big game they are on the plane," he said.

"There's a bit of trepidation about not picking up injuries. But if you go in with that attitude and try and look after yourself there is more chance of picking up an injury.

"So the advice to those players is to go hell for leather."

After the Barbarians match, the Lions travel to Australia where they play four more tour games before the first of three Tests with the Wallabies in Brisbane on June 22.

The Lions, made up of players from England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, have not won a Test series since defeating South Africa in 1997.


There are currently no matches being played
Sat, 28 November 2015
Sale Sharks v Newcastle Falcons 14h30 AJ Bell Stadium
Ospreys v Cardiff Blues 15h00 Liberty Stadium
Exeter Chiefs v Harlequins 15h00 Sandy Park
Saracens v Worcester Warriors 15h15 Twickenham
Munster v Connacht 17h15 Thomond Park
London Irish v Wasps 17h30 Twickenham
Sun, 29 November 2015
Scarlets v Zebre 14h30 Parc y Scarlets
Leicester Tigers v Bath 15h00 Welford Road
Fri, 04 December 2015
Cardiff Blues v Connacht 19h05 BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park
Ulster v Edinburgh 19h35 Kingspan Stadium
Gloucester v Sale Sharks 19h45 Kingsholm
Pool 1
Team P W D L Pts
Saracens 2 2 0 0 9
Toulouse 2 1 0 1 4
Oyonnax 1 0 0 1 1
Ulster 1 0 0 1 0
Pool 2
Team P W D L Pts
Ospreys 2 1 0 1 6
Clermont Auvergne 1 1 0 0 5
Exeter Chiefs 2 1 0 1 5
Bordeaux 1 0 0 1 0
Pool 3
Team P W D L Pts
Northampton Saints 2 2 0 0 8
Racing Metro 1 1 0 0 5
Scarlets 2 0 0 2 1
Glasgow Warriors 1 0 0 1 0
Pool 4
Team P W D L Pts
Leicester Tigers 2 2 0 0 10
Munster 1 1 0 0 5
Stade Francais 1 0 0 1 0
Treviso 2 0 0 2 0
Pool 5
Team P W D L Pts
Wasps 2 2 0 0 9
Bath 1 1 0 0 4
Leinster 2 0 0 2 1
Toulon 1 0 0 1 0