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Power Of Four Becomes The Power Of Three

19th June 2005 By Munster Rugby

Power Of Four Becomes The Power Of Three

Three Irishmen, four Welsh and eight from England will make up the British & Irish Lions side that will take on the All-Blacks at Christchurch’s Jade Stadium on Saturday.

Three Irishmen, four Welsh and eight from England will make up the British & Irish Lions side that will take on the All-Blacks at Christchurch’s Jade Stadium on Saturday.

And with no need for anyone from north of Hadrian’s Wall, Clive Woodward or Alistair Campbell probably need to rewrite the Lions’ theme song, The Power of Four, as the power of three set out to dismantle the All-Blacks.

Prior to the announcement of the side, there was widespread surprise when Gavin Henson was sent to Invercargill and therefore out of Test contention, and after scoring two tries against Southland, the Welsh centre continued to voice his disquiet at Woodward’s decision. “I believe I am good enough to be in the side, and I have just got to do my best. It is out of my hands now.

“It was nice to score two tries, it was good. I was disappointed with not being in the Test squad, but that’s life.

“I feel I am playing quite well. I only played 60 minutes of the first game after two months out, and it was nice to play 80 today. I just feel I am getting more and more confident the more I am playing.”

The disappointment Henson experienced will probably have been tempered when he became aware that the place he coveted alongside Brian O’Driscoll has gone to Jonny Wilkinson but what he makes of the decision to put Will Greenwood on the bench would be well worth hearing.

Elsewhere, Robinson at full-back in place of Lewsey is the only eyebrow raiser with Geordan Murphy the name that would spring to most people’s minds as a better option, and while Paul O’Connell and Brian O’Driscoll were shoe-ins from a year back, the inclusion of Shane Byrne represents the real good-news story to unfold on this tour. The man from Aughrim has come from third position to make himself the best hooker on tour.

New Zealand: Leon MacDonald, Doug Howlett, Tana Umaga (captain), Aaron Mauger, Sitiveni Sivivatu; Dan Carter, Justin Marshall; Tony Woodcock, Keven Mealamu, Carl Hayman, Chris Jack, Ali Williams, Jerry Collins, Richie McCaw, Rodney So’oialo.

Reserves: Darren Witcombe, Greg Somerville, Jono Gibbes, Sione Lauaki, Byron Kelleher, Mils Muliaina, Rico Gear.

Referee – Joel Jutge (France).

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