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Thread: Force tougher test for start of Lions tour

  1. #1
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    Perth, Western Australia, Australia

    Force tougher test for start of Lions tour

    Nick Taylor, The West Australian
    June 5, 2012, 6:54 am

    When the British and Irish Lions last played in Perth they gave the amateur WA team a 106-point flogging.

    Exactly 12 months from today they will face a different proposition when they start a nine-game Australian tour against the Western Force at Patersons Stadium.

    Tour manager Andy Irvine, a three times Lions tourist in the 1970s and '80s was in Perth yesterday on a reconnaissance mission and acknowledged the game would be no walkover.

    "In the past the Perth game was a warm-up. It will not be that. The Western Force will be a very serious proposition," the former Scotland full-back said.

    "We won't have a lot of time preparing for the first Test and this game will be vital for us."

    WA have lost to the Lions four times: 116-10 in 2001 at the WACA Ground, 44-0 in 1989 at Perry Lakes, 60-3 in 1965 also at Perry Lakes and 71-3 in 1930 at Brennan Park, now Gloucester Park.

    Astonishingly Lions records show there were nil-all half-time scorelines in the first three games. They led 57-0 in the last match.

    The Lions are one of the most iconic sports teams in the world, drawn from the best players in England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland.

    They tour Australia, New Zealand and South Africa on a rotational basis every four years and never play at home.

    "The Lions are unique. It is a fantastic concept has stood the test of time. If you speak with players it is undoubtedly the pinnacle of their career," Irvine said.

    "The Lions are a very proud team and wearing the famous red shirt is the ultimate accolade for players."

    Australian Rugby Union chief executive John O'Neill said a Lions tour was only second behind the Rugby World Cup.

    "When they were last here in 2001, the Lions brought with them their Sea of Red. It was a supporter base of the like we have never seen in this country," he said.

    The Lions will play all five Australian Super clubs, a combined NSW-Queensland Country team and Test matches in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.

    Warren Gatland, who led Wales to last year's World Cup semifinals, is favourite to coach the side.

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  2. #2
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    James's Avatar
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    Aug 2006
    Bridgetown, WA
    Slow news week. Hard to get up for much what with the Scotland loss.

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    Veteran Ecky's Avatar
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    Apr 2006
    I went to that 2001 game

    Fastest century I've ever seen at the WACA!

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