Genia reveals Wallabies' twin threat

Fri, 21 Jun 2013 10:51
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Wallaby ace Will Genia said the twin terrors of Michael Hooper and Liam Gill are a big strength in the first Test against the B&I Lions.

Wallaby ace Will Genia said the twin terrors of Michael Hooper and Liam Gill are a big strength for the home side in Saturday's opening Test against the British and Irish Lions in Brisbane.

Lions coach Warren Gatland has selected skipper Sam Warburton as his only openside flank in the battle of breakdown for the opening engagement, while the Wallabies have Hooper in the starting line-up and Gill among their replacements.

Gatland preferred Welsh No.6 Dan Lydiate as his back row cover and passed over Sean O'Brien and Justin Tipuric for a bench position.

The Lions conceded they were "smashed" at the breakdown in their only tour loss to the ACT Brumbies in Canberra on Tuesday.

Some commentators believe the Wallabies may have the edge if Warburton is injured and has to make way for Lydiate off the bench, while the Australians are expected to inject Gill into the game as an impact player late in the second half.

Genia, a key player for the Wallabies, said Hooper and Gill would play a major role in the contest for the ball.

"I don't know if it'll give us an edge [but] I think it's a massive strength for us," the 41-Test-capped scrumhalf said.

"We've got exceptional players like Michael Hooper who'll do a great job for us and then to have the luxury of someone like Liam Gill who can come on when it gets loose.

"Liam is great at the breakdown, he's great at pilfering," he added.

"He's just got a really good all-round game. When the game does get a little bit loose, having a little bit of a sevens background, he's got the ability to play with the ball in hand, and carry, and also get stuck into the tight stuff.

"We're very fortunate to have those two guys in the group."

Australia underlined their openside depth with Hooper and Gill after losing experienced No.7s David Pocock and George Smith with pre-tour injuries.

Warburton missed the early games of the tour with a knee injury and needed a big game against the NSW Waratahs last weekend with Test place challenges coming from O'Brien and Tipuric.

"The last two games have been awesome, but I know it will be at another level again on Saturday," Warburton said.

"I have led Wales out in some pretty big games, but that will be blown out of water by the Lions, which is the ultimate pinnacle in rugby. I'm very proud to be doing it."

Warburton is one of eight Welshmen in the starting XV as the Lions chase their first series win since 1997.

The Lions lost the last series in Australia in 2001 after winning the opening Test in Brisbane, where they have yet to lose in seven encounters against the Wallabies going back to 1899.

AFP

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Wed, 31 May 2017
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Australia U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
Fri, 02 June 2017
Blues v Reds 07h35 Auckland
Sat, 03 June 2017
Crusaders v Highlanders 02h35 Christchurch
Chiefs v Waratahs 05h05 Hamilton
NZ Barbarians v B&I Lions 07h35 Toll Stadium
Brumbies v Rebels 09h45 Canberra
Force v Hurricanes 11h35 Perth
Sun, 04 June 2017
Ireland U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v France U20 07h00 Tbilisi
New Zealand U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Australia U20 v Samoa U20 09h30 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
England U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 54 | 10
Sat, 27 May 2017
Jaguares v Brumbies 15 | 39
Munster v Scarlets 22 | 46
Sharks v Stormers 22 | 10
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 20 | 23
Bulls v Hurricanes 20 | 34
Rebels v Crusaders 19 | 41
Highlanders v Waratahs 44 | 28
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 7 | 47
Fri, 26 May 2017
Reds v Force 26 | 40
Blues v Chiefs 16 | 16
Sun, 21 May 2017
Waratahs v Rebels 50 | 23
Sat, 20 May 2017
Kings v Brumbies 10 | 19
Munster v Ospreys 23 | 3
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 21 | 20
BRITISH & IRISH LIONS
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
B&I Lions 0 0 0 0 0
Australia 0 0 0 0 0
Barbarians 0 0 0 0 0
Force 0 0 0 0 0
Reds 0 0 0 0 0
Waratahs 0 0 0 0 0
Brumbies 0 0 0 0 0
Rebels 0 0 0 0 0
NSW-Queensland 0 0 0 0 0
Blues 0 0 0 0 0
Highlanders 0 0 0 0 0
Hurricanes 0 0 0 0 0
Crusaders 0 0 0 0 0
Chiefs 0 0 0 0 0
NZ Barbarians 0 0 0 0 0
Maori All Blacks 0 0 0 0 0
New Zealand 0 0 0 0 0