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O’Callaghan Misses Out

25th June 2009 By Munster Rugby

O’Callaghan Misses Out

The Lions have made five changes for the second Test that includes Simon Shaw being brought in to partner Paul O’Connell and no place in the 22 for Donncha O’Callaghan.

The other changes were well flagged with the English front-row pair of Lee Mears and Phil Vickery left out of the starting line-up – and match day squad – replaced by the Welsh duo Matthew Rees and Adam Jones. Ugo Moyne also gets the chop with Luke Fitzgerald, not surprisingly, preferred to the Harlequins wing who managed to cross the Boks line twice last weekend without scoring.

The Welsh influence is evidenced in the choice of Shane Williams for the number 22 jersey ahead of Keith Earls who had a fine game against the Emerging Boks and also offers cover at centre wing and full back should it be needed.

O’Callaghan could be excused for wondering what exactly he has done wrong while his colleague Ronan O’Gara must be wondering what he has to do to get a start ahead of the thus far less than convincing Stephen Jones.

One of the problems the Lions will face on Saturday is the question having to play at 1400m above sea level. And to that end Ian McGeechan has opted to keep the squad in Cape Town planning to arrive in Pretoria late tomorrow afternoon.

Former Bok flyhalf Joel Stransky recently said McGeechan had got his planning horribly wrong, considering the final two Tests are at altitude. “He should have based the Lions up country and popped down to the coast for matches; they’ve chartered their own plane so it wouldn’t have been an issue.”

Lions: Robert Kearney, Tommy Bowe, Brian O’Driscoll, Jamie Roberts, Luke Fitzgerald, Stephen Jones, Mike Phillips, Gethin Jenkins, Matthew Rees, Adam Jones, Simon Shaw, Paul O’Connell capt; Tom Croft, David Wallace, Jamie Heaslip. Replacements: Ross Ford, Andrew Sheridan, Alun Wyn Jones, Martyn Williams, Harry Ellis, Ronan O’Gara, Shane Williams. 

South Africa: Francois Steyn;  JP Pietersen, Adi Jacobs, Jean de Villiers, Bryan Habana; Ruan Pienaar, Fourie du Preez; Tendai Mtawarira, Bismarck du Plessis,  John Smit;  Bakkies Botha,  Victor Matfield;  Schalk Burger,  Juan Smith, Pierre Spies. Replacements: Chiliboy Ralepelle, Deon Carstens, Andries Bekker, Danie Rossouw, Heinrich Brussow, Jaque Fourie, Morne Steyn.


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