Force's Brown keen to prove Wallaby worth against Lions
FORMER Wallaby No.8 Richard Brown has always been keen on the idea of hanging a framed British and Irish Lions jersey on the living room wall of his Perth home.
The Queenslander will have the chance to get his hands on a famous red jersey, in more ways than one, when the Western Force host the Lions in Perth tonight in their first game on Australian soil.
Brown, who played the last of his 23 Tests for the Wallabies against England at Twickenham in 2010, is one of five players in coach Michael Foley's line-up who have played Tests for the Wallabies.
Matt Hodgson (six) will captain the side with a starting line-up that also includes front-rower Salesi Ma'afu (13), scrumhalf Brett Sheehan (six), and pivot Sam Norton-Knight (two).
Former All Black Alby Mathewson (four) will also start from the bench.
Brown, the third-most capped player Force player (88), behind Hodgson (95) and the retired Nathan Sharpe (92), said he was looking forward to exchanging his blue jersey, although he would also love to swap a Wallaby one later in the tour.
"It's going to be fantastic to have one hanging on the wall, but two would be, well, like a dream come true," Brown, who made his debut for the Wallabies against the All Blacks in Brisbane in 2008, said.
"I remember watching the 2001 Lions tour and dreamt of playing against them one day, so to get this chance is great because not many players, including Sharpie, have done so.
"If I can play well in this one, who knows what will happen before the first Test? Six more players are still to be added to the Wallaby squad (June 11) and I would love to be one of them."
Veteran Ireland centre Brian O'Driscoll will lead the Lions in the absence of the injured Sam Warburton (knee).
O'Driscoll made his Lions debut against Western Australia in Perth 12 years ago, and he'll be hoping the hosts put up more of fight than they did back then - the Lions won 116-10.
- 15. Sam Christie
- 14. Dane Haylett-Petty
- 13. Ed Stubbs
- 12. Chris Tuatara-Morrison
- 11. Corey Brown
- 10. Sam Norton-Knight
- 9. Brett Sheehan
- 8. Richard Brown
- 7. Matt Hodgson (c)
- 6. Angus Cottrell
- 5. Phoenix Battye
- 4. Toby Lynn
- 3. Salesi Ma'afu
- 2. James Hilterbrand
- 1. Salesi Manu
Reserves: 16. Hugh Roach, 17. Sione Kolo, 18. Tim Metcher, 19. Ben Matwijow, 20. Lachlan McCaffrey, 21. Alby Mathewson, 22. Nick Haining, 23. Junior Rasolea.
British and Irish Lions
- 15. Leigh Halfpenny
- 14. Tommy Bowe
- 13. Brian O'Driscoll
- 12. Manu Tuilagi
- 11. George North
- 10. Jonathan Sexton
- 9. Conor Murray
- 8. Jamie Heaslip
- 7. Sean O'Brien
- 6. Tom Croft
- 5. Ian Evans
- 4. Alun-Wyn Jones
- 3. Dan Cole
- 2. Rory Best
- 1.Cian Healy
Reserves: 16. Tom Youngs, 17. Matt Stevens, 18. Geoff Parling, 19. Toby Faletau, 20. Ben Youngs, 21. Owen Farrell, 22. Sean Maitland.
- June 5: Western Force (8pm AEST)
- June 8: Queensland Reds
- June 11: Comb NSW/QLD Country
- June 15: NSW Waratahs
- June 18: ACT Brumbies
- June 22: First Test v Wallabies (Brisbane)
- June 25: Melbourne Rebels
- June 29: Second Test v Wallabies (Melbourne)
- July 6: Third Test v Wallabies (Sydney)