'Australia are treating the Lions with contempt'
June 5, 2013
Sir Clive Woodward believes the Lions are being treated with contempt © Getty Images
Sir Clive Woodward believes Australia are jeopardising their chances of hosting the British & Irish Lions in the future by treating the elite tourists with "contempt".
The former England and Lions boss has launched his latest verbal broadside after the Western Force's decision to name an under-strength side for their clash against the tourists in Perth on Wednesday.
Woodward, who led the Lions to New Zealand in 2005, wrote in The Daily Mail: "It is unacceptable and disgraceful to cobble together a weakened, second-string club team to play against some of the best players in the world on one of the great rugby tours.
"Having lived and worked in Australia for five years, there is no bigger supporter of Australian sport but what on earth is going on? Can you imagine Leicester inviting the All Blacks to Welford Road and putting out a second-string side? It simply would not happen.
"Treating the Lions with such contempt threatens to undermine their status in the global game.
"The Lions come to Australia once every 12 years but if this is how they are going to be treated in this country then they should seriously consider whether to return."
Force coach Michael Foley has defended his selection, that includes seven debutants, citing player welfare with his side set for their latest Super Rugby clash on Saturday.
As a result, just two players - Toby Lynn and Matt Hodgson - who started against their last clash against Highlanders will start against the Lions.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The latest Week in Pictures brings you a selection of the best snaps from around the rugby world with scantily clad ladies, O'Driscoll and snow all featuring
"If I miss the first kick of the match, it shouldn't have any impact on the second. They are different entities." Tom Hamilton talks to Northampton Saints' Stephen Myler
It's time for those running Welsh rugby to stop trying to prevent its players heading to France and to start planning a future without them, writes Martin Williamson
Paul Eddison explains how the French sold English clubs down the river and why their domestic game will go from strength to strength