British and Irish Lions: Winning run set to continue with comfortable victory against NSW-QLD

Warren Gatland's side have won their opening three matches

Simon Mail previews the British and Irish Lions' next fixture and doesn't anticipate any problems for Warren Gatland's side...

"This game should result in something similar to the scorelines in the first two matches rather than the tight victory over the Reds."

NSW-QLD Country v Lions
Kick-off: Tuesday 10.30
TV: Live on Sky Sports Two

The British and Irish Lions have made an impressive start to their tour with three consecutive victories and they will be expected to win handsomely in their next match. Warren Gatland's side faced their most difficult test yet on Saturday when they defeated the Queensland Reds 22-12, however they are not likely to be stretched nearly as much when they take on a Combined Queensland-New South Wales Country team.

Arguably the only negative so far have been the injuries which have ruled key players out of the series. Winger Tommy Bowe suffered a broken bone in his hand at the weekend which has put his hopes of featuring in doubt. This followed on from the loss of loose-head props Cian Healy and Gethin Jenkins to ankle and calf injuries. Losing these players after just three matches is a setback, but Gatland does at least have enough alternatives to draft in, such is the wealth of talent available.

Gatland has selected an intriguing team for their next match with Stuart Hogg starting at fly-half. The Scotland back will be playing in this position for the first time since his school days with Owen Farrell and Jonathan Sexton rested. Elsewhere, Sean Maitland starts at full-back and prop Alex Corbisiero gets his first start after being drafted in due to the injuries. 

Brian O'Driscoll and Jamie Roberts will also line up in the midfield for the first time since they played together in South Africa four years ago. The pair formed a successful partnership on the last tour and with less than two weeks until the first Australia Test, Gatland could be tempted to put them together again against the Wallabies. The duo have a great understanding and their experience could prove crucial if given the nod against Robbie Deans' side. 

The opposition squad is primarily made up of players from Premier Rugby sides the Sunshine Coast Stingrays and the Gold Coast Breakers as well as a cluster from regional competitions. Having to mold the group together into a cohesive unit will be a hard task and lacking the strength in depth and quality of the Lions, it could be a very one-sided affair.

Captain Sam Warburton has set the task of winning all their matches this summer and there is no doubt that much tougher challenges are ahead. This game should present few difficulties for the Lions and it is surely just a question of how much they will win by. This game should result in something similar to the scorelines in the first two matches rather than the tight victory over the Reds. 

Recommended bet

Back the Lions to win by more than 12.5 points at 1.330/100

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