Live: Combined Country v Lions

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G’day and welcome to RugbyHeaven’s live coverage from hunter Stadium in Newcastle.

Tonight Warren Gatland’s mighty tourists are on display in the Hunter Region of NSW, with the Lions coach naming a very strong line-up to take on a Combined Country side boasting only nine current Super Rugby players.

Beau Robinson was due to face the Lions for the second time in four days, but the Reds flanker was ruled out after a head knock at Suncorp on the weekend.

Combined Country coach Cam Blades had less than a week with the majority of his squad and even less with the late arrivals.

Jamie Roberts and Brian O’Driscoll should have the run of the midfield tonight, with the 2009 pairing getting their first start together.

One surprise from the tourists is the selection of Scottish fullback Stuart Hogg at five-eighth as the Lions look to rest No. 10 specialists Owen Farrell and Jonny Sexton.

Expect just about 100 points tonight, with plenty of yards for the likes of North and O’Driscoll.

NSW-Qld Combined Country: Nathan Trist (Sydney Uni), Alex Gibbon (Southern Districts, Sydney), Lewie Catt (NSW Country), Tareta-Junior Siakisini (Qld Country), Tom Cox (Brumbies), Angus Roberts (Rebels), Michael Snowden (Force), Tim Davidson (capt, Rebels), Jarrad Butler (Reds), Richard Stanford (Eastern Suburbs, Sydney), Blake Enever (Reds), Phoenix Battye (Force), Tim Metcher (Southern Districts, Sydney), Josh Mann-Rae (Brumbies), Haydn Hirsimaki (Qld Country). Res: Dylan Evans (NSW Country), Rikki Abraham (Qld Country), Rory Arnold (Qld Country), Trent Dyer (Rebels), Adam McCormack (NSW Country), Shaun McCarthy (Qld Country), Dale Ahwang (Qld Country).

Lions: Sean Maitland, Alex Cuthbert, Brian O’Driscoll (capt), Jamie Roberts, George North, Stuart Hogg, Conor Murray, Jamie Heaslip, Justin Tipuric, Sean O’Brien, Ian Evans, Richie Gray, Dan Cole, Richard Hibbard, Alex Corbisiero. Res: Rory Best, Ryan Grant, Matt Stevens, Alun Wyn Jones, Toby Faletau, Mike Phillips, Jonathan Davies, Leigh Halfpenny.

The big news this afternoon is that Luke Morahan has been called up to the Wallabies squad to replace injured Brumbies winger Joe Tomane who has been ruled out of the first Test. After his crackerjack try at the weekend, he’ll relish another chance to impress Deans.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.

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