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Masoe Looking Forward To Different Experience

7th June 2005 By Munster Rugby

Masoe Looking Forward To Different Experience

“It’s a game we’re all looking forward to. The Lions will be a different experience,” Masoe said after training yesterday.

By Murray Hills – The Taranaki Daily News.

It has been a big week for Taranaki and Hurricanes flanker Chris Masoe. And it’s only going to get bigger for Masoe, who played for the Possibles in last Friday night’s All Blacks trial in Napier.

Tomorrow night, Masoe will have his sights set on Lions first five-eighth Charlie Hodgson. When Jonny Wilkinson takes the field, Masoe will again take aim and line up arguably the world’s best number 10. The pair will be Masoe’s targets when Taranaki takes on the British and Irish Lions at New Plymouth’s Yarrow Stadium.

“It’s a game we’re all looking forward to. The Lions will be a different experience,” Masoe said after training yesterday. It’s amazing having a guy like Gordie (prop Gordon Slater) in the side. He played for Taranaki against the Lions in 1993 and 12 years later he’s playing them again. It’s a remarkable feat it will be a proud moment for him.”

Masoe said he was looking forward to the challenge of playing against a side including Wilkinson. “I’d love to put a hit on him (Wilkinson), to welcome him. You don’t get many chances to play guys of his class. He’s a legend.”

The 26-year-old, who has played 35 games for Taranaki, said he was impressed by Bay of Plenty’s effort in the tour opener in Rotorua, won by the Lions 34-20. “I take my hat off to Bay of Plenty. They had a real crack at the Lions and played well. The Lions showed how dangerous they are with the ball and we just have to deny them possession.”

Masoe said it was important Taranaki looked after any ball it won. “We’ve got to be solid at scrum time, win our lineout ball and have a go at them. They’re dangerous with the ball and are strong in the set pieces.”

British & Irish Lions: Geordan Murphy (Leicester and Ireland); Shane Horgan (Leinster and Ireland), Will Greenwood (Harlequins and England), Ollie Smith (Leicester and England), Denis Hickie (Leinster and Ireland); Charlie Hodgson (Sale and England), Chris Cusiter (Borders and Scotland); Michael Owen (Dragons and Wales), Lewis Moody (Leicester and England), Martin Corry (Leicester and England, capt; Danny Grewcock (Bath and England), Donncha O’Callaghan (Munster and Ireland); John Hayes (Munster and Ireland), Andy Titterrell (Sale and England), Graham Rowntree (Leicester and England). Replacements: Shane Byrne (Leinster and Ireland), Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff and Wales), Ben Kay (Leicester and England), Martyn Williams (Cardiff and Wales), Gareth Cooper (Dragons and Wales), Jonny Wilkinson (Newcastle and England), Gavin Henson (Ospreys and Wales).

Taranaki: Scott Ireland; Sailosi Tagicakibau, Mark Stewart, Chris Woods, Lifeimi Mafi, Sam Young; Craig Fevre, Tomasi Soqeta; Tony Penn, Andrew Hore, Gordon Slater, John Willis, Paul Tito (capt), Scott Breman, Chris Masoe. Replacements: Phil Mitchell, Hamish Mitchell, Jason Eaton, Richard Bryant, Mathew Harvey, Brendon Watt, James King.

Referee – Kelvin Deaker.

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