Scotland Wales Northern Ireland
BBC Homepage feedback | low graphics version
BBC Sport Online
You are in: In Depth: Lions Down Under  
Front Page 
Results/Fixtures 
Football 
Cricket 
Rugby Union 
Rugby League 
Tennis 
Golf 
Motorsport 
Boxing 
Athletics 
Other Sports 
Sports Talk 
In Depth 
Photo Galleries 
Audio/Video 
TV & Radio 
BBC Pundits 
Question of Sport 
Funny Old Game 

Around The Uk

BBC News

BBC Weather



Matt Dawson
"Gregan can certainly be a handful and a match "
 real 14k

banner Wednesday, 11 July, 2001, 12:00 GMT 13:00 UK
Dawson: Lions are ready
Matt Dawson
BBC Sport Online columnist Matt Dawson reckons the Lions are ready for their crucial third Test match against Australia, and expresses his delight at being selected for the starting XV.

Obviously I'm really pleased to be in the starting line-up for the showdown in Sydney.

To get involved in the squad was a goal initially, but to play Test rugby is why I have come on the tour.

It's great to get an opportunity to prove myself in the biggest game that the Lions have had in years.

Some people may compare my selection to the situation on the South African tour in 1997, but that doesn't bother me in the slightest.


It's a team effort and you just have to make sure that whoever plays in that position on Saturday gives it their all
  Matt Dawson
I'm picked to play in the game on Saturday and I'm just going to crack on.

Obviously they pencilled in Rob Howley at the relevant time, but people get injured and you just slot in.

In the final analysis, it's a team effort and you just have to make sure that whoever plays in that position on Saturday gives it their all for the people not involved and the squad that's here.

However, when I've had opportunities in the big games in the past, I like to think that I've come to the fore.

I've been quite happy with my form on the pitch recently, and if I get the level of concentration right this week and prepare properly, I can hopefully do the business on Saturday.

Welcome return

One great boost for the team is the return of Jonny Wilkinson.

It seemed that he was going to be out after what happened last weekend, but he's somehow risen from injury and is fully fit.

He's been training this week and is looking as fresh as he did before the first and second Test.

Obviously he wouldn't be playing if he wasn't fully fit, but, if he got injured again, I think it would be either Ronan O'Gara or Austin Healey that would take over, depending on how the game was going.

I would be quite confident if I was forced to fill in as kicker.

Jonny Wilkinson
Wilkinson's return to fitness is a welcome boost
My kicking has been going pretty well and I gained a lot of match experience against ACT Brumbies.

Most of the training has been got out of the way and now it's more about the mental preparation about the game.

Obviously I'm not going to give away our game plan, but we've got to vary our play a little bit more and put more pressure on the Aussies closer in where we had opportunities and didn't take them in the last match.

My opposite number George Gregan will be a player for us to watch out for.

He had a quiet first Test, but came into his own in the second, so he's one that we are going to have to make sure we mark very closely.

Gregan can certainly be a handful and a match winner and, while there are plenty of good scrum-halves around, he's possibly the best at the moment.

But we're looking forward to taking on Gregan and the rest of the Aussies in this decisive Test match on Saturday.

We're experienced internationals and we've learned from the mistakes of last weekend. We know that you can't afford to make mistakes against the world champions.

Search BBC Sport Online
Advanced search options
Links to top Lions Down Under stories are at the foot of the page.


Links to other Lions Down Under stories

^^ Back to top