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
In the blink of an eye, a winger can go from a hero to villain. Hugh Godwin talks to Zac Guildford and David Strettle about life on the flank
Munster, No.8s, the imploding Australians, wonderful Glasgow and Lancaster's dilemma - it is Monday Maul time
As Ewen McKenzie exits stage left, the ARU remains under huge pressure, with CEO Bill Pulver feeling the brunt of Australian rugby's displeasure, Greg Growden writes
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the remarkable events in Brisbane and the first round of the European Rugby Champions Cup