Sunday 1 February 2015

Tommy Bowe to start for Lions after miraculous recovery

Published 27/06/2013 | 06:42

IRISH winger Tommy Bowe has recovered from a broken hand and will start for the Lions in the second Test against Australia at Docklands Stadium on Saturday.

With the Lions looking to seal their first series victory since 1997, coach Warren Gatland has brought in Bowe to replace Alex Cuthbert on the wing, while scrumhalf Ben Youngs replaces Mike Phillips in the only changes from the backline that helped the visitors to a 23-21 victory in the first test in Brisbane.

Phillips missed periods of practice this week due to knee soreness from the first test.

Gatland made three changes to his starting pack with loose forward Dan Lydiate replacing Tom Croft while lock Geoff Parling has come in for the injured Paul O'Connell and Mako Vunipola starts at loosehead prop after Alex Corbisiero was ruled out with a calf injury.

Prop Ryan Grant, a late call-up for the tour, has come onto the bench as one of the front row replacements, while flanker Sean O'Brien and scrumhalf Conor Murray have been brought into the matchday 23.

Lions: 15-Leigh Halfpenny (Wales), 14-Tommy Bowe (Ireland), 13-Brian O'Driscoll (Ireland), 12-Jonathan Davies (Wales), 11-George North (Wales), 10-Jonathan Sexton (Ireland), 9-Ben Youngs (England, 8-Jamie Heaslip (Ireland), 7-Sam Warburton (Wales, captain), 6-Dan Lydiate (Wales), 5-Geoff Parling (England), 4-Alun Wyn Jones (Wales), 3-Adam Jones (Wales), 2-Tom Youngs (England), 1-Mako Vunipola (England).

Tommy Bowe shows off the large scar on his right hand - the Irish star is set to make a sensational return to action on Saturday

Replacements - 16-Richard Hibbard (Wales), 17-Ryan Grant (Scotland), 18-Dan Cole (England), 19-Tom Croft (England), 20-Sean O'Brien (Ireland), 21-Conor Murray (Ireland), 22-Owen Farrell (England), 23-Alex Cuthbert (Wales)

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