McGeechan announces strong Lions team to take on the Sharks

Ian McGeechan has announced a very strong British and Irish Lions team to take on Super 14 side the Sharks in Durban on Wednesday night.

The Lions management team have again chosen to try out a number of different combinations in the lead up to the first Test on June 20. Paul O'Connell and Alun Wyn Jones start together in the second row for the first time on the tour while Ronan O'Gara and Mike Phillips are the halfbacks.

Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll and Jamie Roberts are paired in the centre and will be hoping to recreate the devastating form that they produced in the 74-10 victory over the Golden Lions last week. Lee Byrne, Shane Williams and Luke Fitzgerald make up the three-quarter line with the latter two hoping to put in a better performance than they did on Saturday and challenge for a Test place.

With the first Test against the Springboks just 12 days away, Wednesday's game could be last chance saloon for a number of fringe players to stake their claim ahead of the three game series.

Lions XV v Sharks in Durban: L Byrne; S Williams, B O'Driscoll, J Roberts, L Fitzgerald, R O'Gara, M Phillips, G Jenkins, L Mears, A Jones, A-W Jones, P O'Connell(capt), T Croft, D Wallace, J Heaslip. Replacements: M Rees (Scarlets & Wales), P Vickery (Wasps & England), S Shaw (Wasps & England), J Worsley (Wasps & England), M Blair (Edinburgh & Scotland), R Flutey (Wasps & England), L Halfpenny (Cardiff Blues & Wales).

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