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Excitement ahead of Lions decider

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.


  1. National

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".

  1. National

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:

Six changes to Lions side for final Australia Test


Horwill 'vindicated' after being cleared of Alun Wyn Jones stamp

James Horwill will lead the Wallabies out against the Lions in Saturday's series decider Credit: Mark Dadswell/AAP/Press Association Images

Australia captain James Horwill says he has been 'vindicated,' after a appeal over an alleged stamp on Wales second row Alun Wyn Jones was dismissed.

He has now been cleared to play in the series decider on Saturday.

Horwill stood on Jones' head in the opening minutes of the first test between the British and Irish Lions and Australia. Jones needed stitches to a wound above his eye.

A disciplinary hearing held 24 hours later concluded that on the balance of probabilities there was no act of foul play. The International Rugby Board announced on Thursday that it was appealing.

Independent appeal officer Graeme Mew upheld the original judgement and said that only a major error during the original hearing would warrant the 'not guilty' verdict being overturned.

Warburton 'incredibly disappointed' by injury

Sam Warburton picked up an injury in Saturday's second test against the Wallabies Credit: David Davies/PA Wire

Sam Warburton stayed in Melbourne, after Saturday's defeat against the Wallabies, to undergo a scan on his leg.

The Lions have now confirmed that he suffered a 'significant tear in his left hamstring.'

He will remain with the tour party, but will not play in the final test.

Warburton said: "It is incredibly disappointing to be ruled out of the tour through injury as we head to Sydney for the deciding match.

"I wish the team all the best and hope I can play some part in the build up this week. I am confident that the boys can finish the job off and secure the series win."

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