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Friday 23 February 2018

Fans pack in to watch Lions bare teeth

AROUND 30,000 Lions fans are expected to pour in to Brisbane for today's opening rugby Test against Australia.

Their ranks include battalions of Irish, many of whom are now based in Australia. Most were upbeat about the prospects of victory against the Aussies.

It appeared the Lions' management had all but banned Twitter and other social media use in the lead-up to the big day.

The usually chatty Jamie Heaslip had gone to ground, as had Brian O'Driscoll.

Only Leinster's Sean O'Brien, who is not in the team, showed any sign of life online. The 'Tullow Tank' will be watching the match from the stands and that perhaps explains how he managed to escape the Lions' enclosure the night before the game to mix with fans at the Queensland Irish Club.

O'Brien and hundreds of other Irish tourists and emigrants packed the small venue to see Limerick band Heritage Green play. The band boasts ex-Munster player Barry Murphy among its members.

FULL COVERAGE: SPORT

Irish Independent

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