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Lions in Test series victory after big win over Australia

ritish and Irish Lions' George North (right) celebrates scoring their third try of the game. Credit: PA

The British and Irish Lions have won a Test series for the first time in 16 years after an impressive 41-16 victory in the third Test against Australia.

Alex Corbisiero, Jonny Sexton, George North and Jamie Roberts all scored tries for the Lions.

Wales

Excitement ahead of Lions decider

Halfpenny
Halfpenny needs 13 points to equal Neil Jenkins' record Credit: David Davies/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The British and Irish Lions will go for Test series glory against Australia at Sydney's ANZ Stadium later today. It is 16 years since the Lions won a Test series, and the pressure is on for them to deliver.

The Lions have lost skipper Sam Warburton through a hamstring injury, while 2005 leader Brian O'Driscoll was controversially dropped by head coach Warren Gatland. Alun Wyn Jones takes over as captain of a predominately Welsh side.

The Lions can boast many big-game players and many seasoned internationals in their ranks, but none of them will have experienced the type of pressure that awaits at Sydney's ANZ Stadium. It will call for cool heads, calmness when the heat comes on and clear thinking amid an intense environment.

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Lions prepare for Test series decider in Australia

Second Test match between the British and Irish Lions and the Wallabies. Credit: Mark Dadswell/AAP/Press Association

The British and Irish Lions meet Australia today in the deciding Test knowing victory will end their 16-year wait for a series win.

The Test series is currently tied at one apiece after the hosts replied with a 16-15 second Test victory following the Lions' 23-21 win in the opener.

Gatland: Dropping O'Driscoll from Lions was 'not easy'

The British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland said the decision to drop Brian O'Driscoll was "not easy" but claimed the Irishman's leadership would still be vital for the touring side in the run-up to the Sydney showdown.

Gatland said "the head overruled the heart" when it came to selecting the squad that will face Australia in the decisive third test match.

When asked how O'Driscoll took the news, the Lions coach said: "I told him this morning. Obviously he was pretty disappointed as anyone is disappointed but he appreciated the fact that he was spoken to before the announcement.

"It's the first time any coach has ever had that decision with him in 15 years of rugby so it's not easy for that to be the first time but he's still going to be very important for us for the next 72 hours".

Read: Campese claims Lions have 'handed the series to Australia' after selection decision

Gatland: 'Head overruled the heart' on Lions selection

The British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland said the "head overruled the heart" on many of his selection decisions for the final test against Australia in Sydney.

British and Irish Lions Brian O'Driscoll (right) with coach Warren Gatland (left) in June. Credit: David Davies/PA Wire

Former Lions captain Brian O'Driscoll said he was "totally gutted" at being left out of the squad for the decisive match this Saturday.

Gatland said: "Picking this team was not easy and ultimately with several players available after recovering from injury the head overruled the heart in many selection decisions.

"Brian O'Driscoll is a great player and has had a wonderful career but for the final test in Sydney, we just felt Jamie Roberts' presence offered us something more".

Read more: Alun Wyn Jones to captain Lions in deciding Test

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Campese: Lions 'just handed the series to Australia'

Former Australian Rugby Union legend David Campese and current player Matt Giteau have criticised the British and Irish Lions' decision to drop Brian O'Driscoll.

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Lions team info. Sorry but you have just handed to series to Australia. 7 chances and still no real match winner

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Gee dropping @brianodriscoll out of the team is a huge call.. For mine, he has been the stand out unsung hero this series.. Defensively huge

However, former England player Jeremy Guscott praised Warren Gatland's "bold and brave selection".

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Well done WG, bold and brave selection that was required to beat this improving Aussie team

Read more: Alun Wyn Jones to captain Lions in deciding Test

O'Driscoll 'totally gutted' at being dropped for final Test

Former Lions captain Brian O'Driscoll has said he is "totally gutted" at being left out of the squad for the final and decisive Test against Australia:

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Obviously totally gutted at being left out for deciding Test but all efforts go into preparing the boys to see it through. #seaofred

Read more: Alun Wyn Jones to captain Lions in deciding Test

Wales

Six changes to Lions side for final Australia Test

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Team Update - @lionsofficial vs @qantaswallabies - Backs - Halfpenny, Bowe, Davies, Roberts, North, Sexton, Phillips #LionsTour #AUSvLIO

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Forwards - Corbisiero, Hibbard, A Jones, A W Jones (c), Parling, Lydiate, O'Brien, Faletau #LionsTour #AUSvLIO

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Replacements - T Youngs, Vunipola, Cole, Gray, Tipuric, Murray, Farrell, Tuilagi #LionsTour #AUSvLIO

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