British and Irish Lions: Strong Lions side should have few problems against Melbourne Rebels

Manu Tuilagi can stake a claim for a Test spot when he plays against the Rebels

Simon Mail expects the British and Irish Lions to finish their final midweek match with a victory over the Melbourne Rebels...

"It could be worth taking an alternative look at the betting markets for this warm-up game. Owen Farrell is a formidable goal kicker who rarely misses when he gets an opportunity."

Rebels v Lions
Kick-off: Tuesday 11am
TV: Live on Sky Sports 1

The British and Irish Lions play their last midweek game of the tour against the Melbourne Rebels and coach Warren Gatland will be looking for some big performances as the countdown continues to the second Test this weekend. The Lions survived an epic tussle with Australia on Saturday, when they were arguably fortunate to hold on for a 23-21 win.

Gatland has picked a strong side to face the Rebels with one eye on Saturday's next encounter against the Wallabies. Arguably the most significant name on the team sheet is Manu Tuilagi, who could still challenge for a Test spot. The powerful Leicester Tigers centre has recovered from a neck injury and a strong showing here could put pressure on Jonathan Davies' place. 

Lock Geoff Parling is handed the captaincy for the midweek clash after featuring during the closing stages of Saturday's win. Elsewhere Saracens fly-half Owen Farrell gets another opportunity in the team while club team-mate Brad Barritt starts alongside Tuilagi.

Melbourne Rebels have endured a difficult season in the Super XV where they currently sit 12th, after just four wins from 15 matches this year. The hosts have named their strongest possible lineup with Luke Burgess given his first start following his arrival from Toulouse. Former Bath and Gloucester forward Gareth Delve skippers the Rebels. 

The Lions came unstuck in their last Tuesday outing when they were beaten by the Brumbies. But this is their only defeat of the tour so far and the Rebels are not likely to present the same level of opposition. Gatland has also named a stronger team and it is hard to see anything other than an away win. But it is difficult to get excited about such short odds 1.061/18 on a Lions victory. 

It could be worth taking an alternative look at the betting markets for this warm-up game. Farrell is a formidable goal kicker who rarely misses when he gets an opportunity. The Lions' accuracy with the boot was a key factor in their Australia win and this consistency should continue here. If the Lions put pressure on the Rebels they could easily concede an early penalty so this could provide the best bet for what should be a straight forward win.


Recommended bet

Back a Lions penalty as the first scoring play at 2.021/1


Follow Simon's bets on Twitter @watfordtipster

Don't forget, to bet on this event you'll need to use the Australian wallet. To find out more, click here.

Get a Free £/€20 Exchange Bet

  • Join Now - Open account using promo code VAL225
  • Bet - Place a £/€20 Bet on the Exchange
  • Earn We'll Refund You £/€20 If the Bet Loses

T&Cs apply.

Discover the latest articles