Friday 17 November 2017

Campese questions tourists' approach as Aussies turn to Smith

George Smith: Poised for recall
George Smith: Poised for recall
Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

WHILE one veteran of 2001 was being callously disregarded from the deciding Test of this year's series, another was being resurrected.

Brian O'Driscoll might be watching with other old-timers in the stand, but George Smith will be out on the field, with the Australian legend set to be recalled for his first cap since 2009 after a spell in Japan.

The legendary openside had been in line for an earlier re-introduction but he suffered an injury playing for the Brumbies after returning Down Under on a short-term deal.

Robbie Deans is recalling Smith along with Ben McCalman, who looks set to be named at No 8 in place of Wycliff Palu.

Wallaby legend David Campese believes Gatland's decision to drop O'Driscoll and change his team so drastically is a gamble.

"(Jamie) Roberts is in, we don't know how his hammy is but O'Driscoll is a great player – take him out and who's going to be the leaders in the Lions side? There isn't anyone anymore," he said.

"Obviously the changes have occurred because (Warren) Gatland's panicked a bit. Last week he said, 'the changes are good, there's a lot more in the team' but (that is) a lot of changes – seven changes going into 80 minutes of rugby.

"The Wallabies have really got the same side, they've got a bit of momentum and the more you change, the harder the game has been.

"If you look at the majority of the players, they are Welsh. Obviously they won the Grand Slam (in 2012) so the guys know what they're doing but I'd still like to know who has the X-factor in this team? Who's going to do something different?"

Campese believes Australia's ambition will win them the Test.

"The big difference (in the second Test) was the Aussies tried things and that's how they got the try. The Lions just went out there and said, 'we'll defend'," he added.

"I don't think the Lions made the advantage line once and that's what you have to do in this game.

"If you don't make the advantage line, the defence dominates and that's where I think the Lions will struggle if they haven't got something up their sleeve for this Saturday in the third Test."

Irish Independent

Promoted Links

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport