Manu Tuilagi back to face Rebels for Lions

Last updated 18:58 23/06/2013
Manu Tuilagi
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NEW ROLE: Blockbusting England centre Manu Tuilagi has been moved to the wing for the second test against the All Blacks tomorrow night.

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Four members of the victorious British and Irish Lions side which beat Australia 23-21 on Saturday will back up to play Super Rugby's Melbourne Rebels on Tuesday.

Dan Lydiate, Geoff Parling, Richard Hibbard and Dan Cole are among the Tuesday starters, with England and Leicester Tigers lock Parling to take on the captaincy.

Parling's clubmate Manusamoa Tuilagi makes his return after suffering a shoulder injury in a tour match against the Queensland Reds game. He is joined in the center by England teammate Brad Barritt.

The Lions announced their team for Tuesday's match before departing for Melbourne, site of the second test next Saturday where the Lions can clinch their first series victory since 1997.

"We are obviously delighted to start the test series against the Wallabies with a win, but this game is very important to us in terms of keeping the momentum going," tour manager Andy Irvine said in a statement Sunday. "Those playing on Tuesday have a major part in delivering this and at the same time keeping the pressure on for test match selection."

Later Sunday, the Rebels named their team to be captained by former Wales international Gareth Delve, the regular Melbourne skipper.

Meanwhile, head coach Warren Gatland said that center Jamie Roberts, who missed the first test with a hamstring injury, may play in Saturday's second test.

"We don't think Jamie is too far away. He's up and running and is potentially available for next weekend," Gatland said.

The Lions have won six of seven matches so far this tour, the only loss coming last Tuesday against the ACT Brumbies in Canberra when they were beaten 14-12.

Australia and the Lions will play a third test on July 6 in Sydney.

Lions: Rob Kearney, Sean Maitland, Manu Tuilagi, Brad Barritt, Simon Zebo, Owen Farrell, Conor Murray; Toby Faletau, Sean O'Brien, Dan Lydiate, Geoff Parling (captain), Richie Gray, Dan Cole, Richard Hibbard, Ryan Grant. Reserves: Rory Best, Mako Vunipola, Matt Stevens, Ian Evans, Justin Tipuric, Ben Youngs, Billy Twelvetrees, Stuart Hogg.

Melbourne Rebels: Jason Woodward, Tom English, Mitch Inman, Rory Sidey, Bryce Hegarty, Bryce Hegarty, Luke Burgess, Gareth Delve (captain), Scott Fuglistaller, Jarrod Saffy, Hugh Pyle, Cadeyrn Neville, Laurie Weeks, Ged Robinson, Nic Henderson. Reserves: Pat Laefa, Cruze Ah Nau, Paul Alo-Emile, Luke Jones, Jordy Reid, Nic Stirzaker, Angus Roberts, Cooper Vuna.

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- AP

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