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Page last updated at 12:00 GMT, Thursday, 2 July 2009 13:00 UK

Lions Test debuts for English duo

Third Test - South Africa v British and Irish Lions
Venue: Ellis Park, Johannesburg Date: Saturday 4 July Start: 1400 BST
Coverage: Live on Sky Sports, 5 Live and live text commentary on the BBC Sport website

Lions centre Riki Flutey
Flutey played for Wellington against the Lions in 2005

Riki Flutey and Joe Worsley will start against South Africa on Saturday as the injury-hit British and Irish Lions make a host of changes for the third Test.

With Jamie Roberts and Brian O'Driscoll ruled out, Flutey forms a centre partnership with Ireland's Tommy Bowe - who moves in from the wing.

Ugo Monye and Shane Williams start out wide, while Andrew Sheridan and Phil Vickery are named in the front row.

Worsley and Martyn Williams are both named in a new-look back-row.

In total there are eight changes, including one positional, from the side that suffered a decisive loss in the second Test last weekend.

Four players were ruled out for the rest of the tour following the ferocious contest in Pretoria, props Gethin Jenkins and Adam Jones as well as O'Driscoll and Roberts, forcing head coach Ian McGeechan to make changes.

Lions remain positive - McGeechan

"This is a new Test match in many respects because the players out there will want to respond very positively and if we play well enough to win it will be a very sweet victory," said McGeechan.

"We gave the players a break this week but we are back to it now and we are keen to finish off with a win.

"We could be sitting here with two wins under our belt. We had two fantastic games of rugby and I hope it will be the same again."

The selection of Vickery gives the Englishman a chance to eradicate the painful memories of the first Test in Durban.

The Wasps tight-head prop had a torrid time at the hands of the Springboks loose-head Tendai "The Beast" Mtawarira and was subsequently dropped for the second Test.

McGeechan said he has no qualms about naming Vickery in the starting line-up, insisting the problems the Lions had with the refereeing of the scrum had been ironed out.

"I am very confident," added McGeechan. "Phil is a world-class prop.

"He is an outstanding tourist and after the first Test he put all of his efforts into supporting Adam Jones when he got the position. You could not have asked for anymore."


Worsley and Flutey make their full Test debuts for the Lions while England's Sheridan and Martyn Williams of Wales both earn their first Lions Test starts.

Flutey, who played for Wellington against the Lions in 2005, starts alongside Ireland and Ospreys wing Bowe in midfield.

"Tommy has had a strong tour," said McGeechan. "He is a strong runner and having the two of them gives us a slightly different balance. Hopefully they will bring the best rugby out of each other."

On the bench, the Lions have opted to name five forwards with scrum-half Harry Ellis and fly-half/centre James Hook covering the backs.

Lions flanker Joe Worsley
Worsley has already made five starts on the tour to South Africa

Hook has taken over from last week's replacement fly-half Ronan O'Gara while wing Luke Fitzgerald, who started the second Test, drops out of the squad completely.

Veteran Ireland prop John Hayes is poised to make his Lions Test debut after being drafted onto the bench.

Flankers David Wallace and Tom Croft, who started the first two Tests, are also among the replacements.

"It was nip and tuck between Martyn Williams and David Wallace, having fresh legs was important," said McGeechan.

"Joe Worsley has had a big tour and he has not always had the best opportunities in some of the conditions he has found himself under. I feel he deserves that start."

The selection means just four players will have started all three Tests - fly-half Stephen Jones, scrum-half Mike Phillips, skipper Paul O'Connell and number eight Jamie Heaslip.

South Africa's win on Saturday gave them an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series and the Lions must win at Ellis Park to avoid suffering a Test series whitewash for the first time in 118 years of fixtures between the sides.

Lions: Kearney; Monye, Bowe, Flutey, S Williams; S Jones, Phillips; Sheridan, Rees, Vickery, Shaw, O'Connell, Worsley, M Williams, Heaslip.
Replacements: Ford, Hayes, Alun-Wyn Jones, Wallace, Croft, Ellis, Hook.

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