Saturday, May 30, 2009

International Rugby: British Lions Tour Begins

British and Irish Lions v Highvelt Royal XV in Rustenburg

Venue: Royal Bafokeng Stadium

Referee: Marius Jonker

This long awaited unique tour on the international rugby calendar begins in South Africa on Saturday. By unique I mean that the days of long tours by international rugby teams ended with the advent of firstly, better airline travel, and finally, the beginning of the professional rugby era.

Coach Ian McGeechan has started with a team that looks on paper to be balanced. Solid at the back, experimental mid-field, experience in the halves and very solid and experienced up front. The world waits with anticipation.

The local side is made up of players mainly from Griqualand West and is not expected to win. They will certainly be playing the game od their lives and will rise to the occasion, to annoy and even worry the tourists at time but eventually the more experienced and fitter Lions will prevail.

No previous encounters and GWC Rugby Rankings to not apply.

Prediction: Lions by 15 points


Royal XV
15 Russell Jeacocks
14 Egon Seconds
13 Deon van Rensburg
12 Hanno Coetzee
11 Bjorn Basson
10 Naas Olivier
9 Sarel Pretorius
8 Jonathan Mokuena
7 Devon Raubenheimer
6 Wilhelm Koch (c)
5 Jacques Lombaard
4 Rudi Mathee
3 Bees Roux
2 Rayno Barnes
1 Albertus Buckle.
16 Pellow van der Westhuizen
17 Stef Roberts
18 Rynard Landman
19 RW Kember
20 Jacques Coetzee
21 Riaan Viljoen
22 Jovan Bowles
Head Coach:

British and Irish Lions
15 Lee Byrne (Wales)
14 Thomas Bowe (Ireland)
13 Keith Earls (Ireland)
12 James Roberts (Ireland)
11 Shane Williams (Wales)
10 Ronan O'Gara (Ireland)
9 Michael Blair (Scotland)
8 Andrew Powell (Wales)
7 Martyn Williams (Wales)
6 Joseph Worsley (England)
5 Paul O'Connell, Capt. (Ireland)
4 Simon Shaw (England)
3 Adam Jones (Wales)
2 Matthew Rees (Wales)
1 Andrew Sheridan England)
16 Lee Mears (England)
17 Philip Vickery (England)
18 Alun-Wyn Jones (Wales)
19 Stephen Ferris (Ireland)
20 Michael Phillips (Wales)
21 Stephen Jones (Wales)
22 Riki Flutey (England)
Head Coach: Ian McGeechan,25883,16024_5354637,00.html

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