Roberts and Corbisiero set to return to mix
June 30, 2013
Lions centre Jamie Roberts has been sidelined since picking up a hamstring injury in the victory over the Waratahs earlier this month © Getty Images
Roberts has been sidelined since picking up a hamstring injury in the Lions' victory over the Waratahs earlier this month while Corbisiero was struck down with a calf problem during their first Test victory in Brisbane. But assistant coach Andy Farrell has revealed that both are in line to return to full training on Wednesday and the selection mix for the showdown with the Wallabies at ANZ Stadium.
"There are a few boys training tomorrow and they will go hard. The rest of the squad have a couple of days off and we'll train on Wednesday and Thursday," Farrell told PA Sport. "People like Alex Corbisiero and Jamie Roberts will go hard tomorrow and hopefully be right for full training on Wednesday."
Lions captain Sam Warburton remains a major doubt for the game having suffered a hamstring injury in the Lions' agonising 16-15 defeat in the second Test on Saturday. The Wales flanker, who will remain in Melbourne until tomorrow, limped off 13 minutes from time and Farrell confirmed that an update on his fitness will be released tomorrow following a scan on the injury.
"Coming off in a Test match like that is devastating. As a captain you want to be there for your troops and lead from the front, especially in the dying minutes of the game," Farrell said. "He's disappointed with that, but he's in good spirits because we have a big week ahead of us with a Test match to win. He's gone for a scan and will find out the results later."
The Lions remain favourites to claim what has been a keenly-contested series with Farrell billing the final game of their tour as 'the biggest game of the players' lives'. "The reality is that it's 1-1 after two good teams have gone at it hammer and tongs. We're both still in the race," Farrell said.
"I'm proud of the way we stuck at it. We were lucky to get away with a win in the first game and in the second game we could have won. After those two games 1-1 is a fair way to look at the series.
"We've come to Noosa for a couple of days off and we'll lick our wounds and get back to what we have to do on Tuesday and Wednesday this week. We all realise it's the biggest game of our lives and we'll see what comes of it.
"I wouldn't say Australia are in the driving seat. I'd say they're very pleased - it was a do or die situation for them and they rose to the challenge. It was a one-point game that could have gone either way and both teams will be confident about next week."
Farrell has also dismissed any chance of the Lions running out of steam. "Fatigue doesn't come into it with the enormity of the task ahead and what is at stake," he said. "If you ask the players, they would play the game again tomorrow. They want to get straight back on the horse and get back at it. That's what big-game players want to do - get back at it straightaway. The disappointment is that we have to wait five or six days to put it right.
"We have always said that we've got a good squad and we believe in everyone within the squad. We will back everyone to the hilt and that is what we've done throughout this campaign. Whoever gets selected for this last game in Sydney, big-game players normally produce when it counts, and it counts no more than next weekend.
"The disappointing thing for us with our lack of accuracy was that we couldn't get our backs into the game because we couldn't keep hold of the ball for more than three or four phases.
"Our strength is our physicality and our skill and pace within the backs, but we couldn't keep that going and Australia could because of the way they kept the ball and the way we kept letting them back into the game."
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