ANDY Farrell has billed Saturday’s Test series decider between the British and Irish Lions and Australia as “the biggest game of our lives”.
The Lions have migrated north to Noosa for a few days’ rest and recuperation following their last-gasp defeat in Melbourne on Saturday. There is also an injury cloud hovering over their captain Sam Warburton, who will arrive on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast today after remaining in Melbourne overnight for a scan. But assistant coach Farrell has no doubt the Lions will regroup ahead of the Sydney showdown. They are also optimistic that centre Jamie Roberts and prop Alex Corbisiero will return to full training on Wednesday, putting them in contention for next weekend.
Roberts has yet to play in the Test series because of a hamstring problem, while prop Corbisiero suffered a calf injury in the series opener at Suncorp 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 said 24 hours after the Melbourne defeat. “People like Alex Corbisiero and Jamie Roberts will go hard tomorrow and hopefully be right for full training on Wednesday.”
The Lions are marginal favourites to win the third and final Test at ANZ Stadium, but the momentum is with Australia following their dramatic Melbourne victory. “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 added. “We all realise it (next Saturday) is 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 would say they’re very pleased – it was a do or die situation for them and they rose to the challenge.”
Farrell has dismissed any prospect of the Lions being fatigued as they approach the end of their ten-match tour.
“Fatigue doesn’t come into it with the enormity of the task ahead and what is at stake,” he said. “The players would play the game again tomorrow. They want to get straight back on the horse and get back at it.”