Brian O'Driscoll will lead the Lions against the Western Force on wednesday with tour captain Sam Warburton still sidelined with a knee injury. Warburton is expected to be back in full training on Thursday and is contention to start against the Queensland Reds on saturday.
Rob Kearney will also miss the game on wednesday and the Leinster and Ireland fullback has been diagnosed with a grade one hamstring tear. Head coach Warren Gatland has admitted the injury is a "little bit concerning" but there are no plans to bring out a replacement. The recovery time for a grade one tear can be up to three weeks so at best this will leave Kearney with fewer chances to impress the coaches before the first test against Australia on the 22nd of june.
There are a whole eight Irish players in the starting XV so wednesday's game should pretty interesting. Manu Tuilagi's performance out of position at inside centre should also be revealing. The explosive
Samoan Englishman could yet prove to be a very good foil for O'Driscoll come the test series.
Leigh Halfpenny, Tommy Bowe, Brian O'Driscoll (capt), Manu Tuilagi, George North, Jonny Sexton, Conor Murray; Cian Healey, Rory Best, Dan Cole, Alun Wyn-Jones, Ian Evans, Tom Croft, Sean O'Brien, Jamie Heaslip.
Replacements Tom Youngs, Mako Vunipola, Matt Stevens, Geoff Parling, Toby Faletau, Ben Youngs, Owen Farrell, Sean Maitland