Shaun Edwards: The Lions need to put down a marker
The British and Irish Lions play the second match of their six week tour to South Africa tomorrow against the Super 14 side the Golden Lions knowing that they need to raise their game and set the tone for the build up to the Test series against the Springboks.
Paul O'Connell's team looked sluggish against the Royal XV last Saturday struggling to create continuity in attack but most worryingly looking disorganized in defence with the Lions conceding three tries around the fringe of the ruck.
Lions defence coach Shaun Edwards spoke about the importance of the game: "We need to put down a marker. The time for excuses is over. If we're going to have any chance against the Springboks, then we can't have any lapses. We need to be on the money."
While the Lions team for tomorrow's game looks to have more experience than the side that narrowly beat the Royal XV, the Golden Lions team features two full South African internationals in prop Lawrence Sephaka and out-half Andre Pretorious.
The Lions management team will be focusing on a number of untried combinations, with the pairing of Brian O'Driscoll and Jamie Roberts in the centre one of the most likely options for the First Test against South Africa on June 20.
Golden Lions: L Ludik; M Killian, J Boshoff, D la Grange, D Noble; A Pretorius, J Vermaak; L Sephaka, W Wepener, G Muller, B Mockford, W Stoltz, C Grobbelaar, F van der Merwe, W Alberts. Substitutes: E Reynecke, J Van Rensburg, E Joubert, T Clever, C Jonck, W Venter, E Rose. British and Irish Lions: R Kearney (Leinster & Ireland); T Bowe (Ospreys & Ireland), B O'Driscoll (Leinster & Ireland, capt), J Roberts (Cardiff Blues & Wales), U Monye (Harlequins & England); S Jones (Scarlets & Wales), M Phillips (Ospreys & Wales); G Jenkins (Cardiff & Wales), L Mears (Bath & England), P Vickery (Wasps & England), N Hines (Perpignan & Scotland), A-W Jones (Ospreys & Wales), T Croft (Leicester & England), D Wallace (Munster & Ireland), J Heaslip (Leinster & Ireland). Substitutes: R Ford (Edinburgh & Scotland), E Murray (Northampton & Scotland), S Ferris (Ulster & Ireland), A Powell (Cardiff & Wales), H Ellis (Leicester & England), J Hook (Ospreys & Wales), S Williams (Ospreys & Wales). Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa).