Youngs will give Wallabies cause for concern
June 27, 2013
Lions scrum-half Ben Youngs (r) is likely to cause Will Genia more headaches tha Mike Phillips © Getty Images
The Wallabies have only one certain World XV starter in scrum-half Will Genia. And his impact on the British & Irish Lions Test series has already been glaringly revealed when he forced their coach Warren Gatland to re-jig his team.
Genia, while being the standout player of the Brisbane Test, exposed his Lions opposite Mike Phillips, who showed the effects of fighting off a knee injury when he was completely out-played by his opponent.
Not surprisingly Gatland dropped Phillips for Ben Youngs, and that is hardly encouraging news for the Wallabies.
Youngs is considerably more mobile and faster than Phillips, and is bound to put greater pressure on Genia. The rapid demise of Phillips is emphasised by him not even making the Lions bench, with Conor Murray instead the back-up No. 9.
It was blatantly clear in both the Lions-New South Wales Waratahs match in Sydney and the first Test that one of the opposition's prime focuses was restricting Phillips' impact. He was a constant target for the Waratahs and the Wallabies backrowers in both games, often getting a rough time at the bottom of rucks.
Youngs will be considerably harder to nab.
Russell Barwick and Greg Growden preview the second Lions Test%]
Also a new Lions back row, after the promotion of blindside flanker Dan Lydiate, will be given the directive of nullifying Genia.
While Paul O'Connell is an enormous loss for the Lions, they boast an excellent lock back-up in Geoff Parling and head into the Melbourne Test looking an assured line-up.
Tip: Lions by 5.
© ESPN Australia / New Zealand
The latest Week in Pictures takes in all the action from the weekend when rugby united behind Samoa
England broke their losing streak, but this was not them clawing their way back among the best, writes Tom Hamilton
Wales were just 13 minutes from a famous victory, but the lessons to be learned in defeat are almost exactly the same as those from previous near-misses, writes Huw Richards
Ahead of England's clash with Samoa, Scrum Sevens takes a wander down memory lane and celebrates seven examples of Pacific Islands magic