Croft and Davies injury scare for Lions
June 21, 2013
A glum-looking Jonathan Davies and Tom Croft sat out the Lions' latest training session in Brisbane © Getty Images
The British & Irish Lions have been handed a late injury scare on the eve of their first Test showdown with Australia on Saturday.
Both flanker Tom Croft and centre Jonathan Davies, who are set to line up against the Wallabies at the Suncorp Stadium, sat out the Lions' final training session. Croft has a toe injury while Davies is struggling with stiffness but assistant coach Andy Farrell is confident the due will be fit for the game.
"It's been a funny week because of the game on Tuesday, so we decided to have a double day yesterday - two really intense, physical sessions," Farrell said. "Tom has a little bit of inflammation on his toe that's nothing to worry about whatsoever.
"The important thing is that he trained yesterday and got through the two sessions. The right thing to do is to give him a rest so that he's fine for tomorrow. Jonathan Davies didn't train either because of the intensity of the two sessions. It's just stiffness. Owen Farrell ran there instead, but it will be fine."
Farrell is expecting a fiercely-contested series with the Wallabies and believes experience could be key to victory with the Lions' starting XV containing 770 caps as opposed to the Wallabies' 519 Test appearances.
"Experience in big games counts for a lot because they've been there and done it. Australia have some world class players and we do too," he said. "What you generally get when you come to an occasion like this is the performance levels rise another 10-15 per cent. The more experience you have like that the better.
Lions centre Brian O'Driscoll talks to the media ahead of the Brisbane showdown
"When you looked around the team meeting today to see who is going to go into battle with you, it gives you great pleasure. After all the hard work we've done over the last six weeks, we know that this is what it's all been for.
"You can tell Test week because there's a buzz about the place and an excitement among the players. There's an intensity about the way we train and the work ethic on and off the park is off the level. We've had a great week."
Few international players boast more experience than veteran centre Brian O'Driscoll who has 131 caps to his name and will make his seventh Test appearance for the Lions on Saturday.
"I'm proud. You work hard towards this, which is the ultimate for a player from Britain and Ireland. You're following so many great players who have worn the Lions jersey before you," O'Driscoll said.
"I'm not one to dwell on the enormity of the occasion. It's more something to reflect on when you're retired. Australia are one of the smartest teams. They invariably have key players in important positions. But we have a great togetherness, we're enjoying each other's company and having good fun together. We're well prepared."
Lions management are confident centre Jonathan Davies will be passed fit for the first Test © PA Photos
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