Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

A Fight to the Finish; Henry: Nobody Goes Home until the Aussies Are Beaten

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

A Fight to the Finish; Henry: Nobody Goes Home until the Aussies Are Beaten

Article excerpt


LIONS coach Graham Henry today insisted the tour party would stick together after tomorrow's final midweek match against ACT even though 15 players will be without rugby action for 11 days.

There is no midweek fixture between the Second and Third Tests and it was rumoured that injured players or those not needed in the match 22 for those games could leave the tour early.

However, Henry moved quickly today to kill off any speculation about a split in the tour party by forcibly stating: "We made a decision about that months ago and we will stick together as a party for the whole tour. This tour is about everyone in the party and is not about people buggering off home after the game tomorrow.

"That's not part of the deal because it's all about winning a Test series in Australia against the world champions. There is a bigger picture here and I am sure people understand that.

"Players who take on ACT tomorrow may force their way into the Test team and you never know what can happen in the Second and Third Tests of a series.

There could be injuries in the Second Test in Melbourne and all 37 players have to be prepared to play Test-match rugby until we depart."

The two-match suspension imposed in Wales flanker Colin Charvis after he was found guilty of using his knee on an opponent in the Brisbane win has helped shape the side to face ACT, the Super 12 champions here in the capital city.

With Charvis out of the equation, Henry had to choose one of the Test starting back row to take on ACT and Martin Corry has drawn the short straw.

Corry, an early replacement for the Lions tour, has been put to work in almost every game and is vying with Leicester team-mate Austin Healey for a long service medal.

Healey is chosen on the left wing against ACT to continue a sequence that has seen him named in every match 22 on tour.

This is a huge game for the misfiring midweek team under David Young's captaincy as they have the responsibility of knocking over the Super 12 champions to keep the momentum going after Saturday's first Test win. Young also denied it was his players who had provided the ammunition for Matt Dawson to fire off his criticism of the management in his newspaper column. …

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