Melbourne build-up

The British and Irish Lions will look to build on their first Test win when they renew hostilities against Australia on Saturday at the Etihad Stadium.

Last Updated: 28/06/13 at 17:24 Post Comment

British and Irish Lions coaches Rob Howley, Warren Gatland, Graham Rowntree and

British and Irish Lions coaches Rob Howley, Warren Gatland, Graham Rowntree and

The Lions edged out the Wallabies 23-21 in Brisbane and are now 80 minutes away from a first series win since 1997.

Lions head coach Warren Gatland has rung the changes to his line-up despite the success at the Suncorp Stadium.

Australia counterpart Robbie Deans, though, has kept changes to a minimum despite a difficult week for the hosts - with only two injury-enforced alterations.

And ahead of the clash in Melbourne, we bring you all the latest news, views, video and opinion.

Australia v Lions: Preview

British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland has made five changes to his starting XV for Saturday's second Test against Australia. Three of the switches - Ben Youngs, Tommy Bowe and Dan Lydiate - are tactical as Gatland shows her ruthless side, while two of the changes are due to injuries with Geoff Parling and Mako Vunipola both starting. For the Wallabies, Robbie Deans has made just the two alterations with Joe Tomane and Kurtley Beale coming in for the must-win clash.

Gatland throws down the gauntlet

British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland believes Test series glory in Australia would be 'life-changing' for the players. "Potentially, for a lot of them (players), winning on Saturday has the potential to change a lot of their lives in a positive way, the opportunities that may create in a lot of different avenues," he said. "We just need to make them aware of potentially how important Saturday is and the Test series is. It's that close. It (weight of expectation) is something we are well aware of."

Warburton targets series win

Captain Sam Warburton insists the British and Irish Lions will be looking to "finish off" Australia in the second Test in Melbourne. "The talk around the players has been making sure we finish it this weekend," Warburton said. "There has been no complacency thinking that we've got a week off because there is another opportunity next week. Momentum would completely swing if Australia won. They'd be going into another home game to finish after winning a game."

Bowe raring to go

Fit-again winger Tommy Bowe has spoken of his joy at being brought into the Lions XV for the second Test match with Australia on Saturday. "I think to go from one of my biggest lows - to be told on the side of the pitch and go for an X-ray to see the fracture on my hand, to be told, pretty much, my tour was over - to still be here, it was such an amazing feeling," he said. "To now be picked in what is probably one of the biggest matches of my career, it's a pretty surreal feeling."

Lealiifano relishing return

Australia star Christian Lealiifano is determined to make the most of the second Test against the Lions in Melbourne having had his debut in the first cut short by a nasty opening-minute collision. "I had a few minor headaches, but all the protocols and the tests that you go through during the week with the doctor I passed quite well and I was quite happy with," he said. "No serious side effects. I probably thought I would be a bit groggy after having a nap on (Brisbane's) Suncorp Stadium, but I pulled up pretty well."

Barnes backs Youngs selection

Sky Sports expert Stuart Barnes thinks Warren Gatland's selection of Ben Youngs for the second Test is the correct one. "Phillips' job was to provide power around the fringes but Ben Mowen wrapped him up and stopped him and it was to get hold of Will Genia and slow him down. If that was slowing up Genia then we have a problem. If he couldn't do that then you have to say how do we get Jonny Sexton into the game more. It might be the extra power and slickness of Ben Youngs pass might serve him better."

Glory for the Lions

In his latest betting blog, Alex Payne is backing the Lions to clinch the series by winning the second Test. "I think the fast start will come from the Wallabies, so Australia to win the race to 10 points at evens, and to lead at half-time. But I just fancy the Lions' nerve, their fitness, the impact from the bench and the goal kicking of Leigh Halfpenny to steer them home in the second 40. So I'm going to go Lions by a nose again in the match result (1-5 winning margin is at 9/2) and on the double result: Wallabies H/T - Lions F/T which is 6/1."

Key battles

The Lions may be 80 minutes away from a first series victory in 16 years however they know there is still plenty of work to do. The Lions clinched a 23-21 victory in the first Test, with George North and Alex Cuthbert scoring tries and Leigh Halfpenny slotting over 13 points. However Warren Gatland has shown his ruthless side as he looks to wrap up the series in Melbourne by making five changes to his starting XV. And ahead of the second Test showdown, we look at the key battles where the game could be won or lost.

Australia 35 British and Irish Lions 14

The Lions headed into the second Test in Melbourne looking to seal the victory that would win them the series. They got off to an impressive start as Jonny Wilkinson kicked two penalties and Neil Back scored a try as the Lions led 11-6 at half-time lead. However the Lions capitulated after the break as Joe Roff crossed for two tries, while Matt Burke weighed in with 25 points to seal a superb fightback. To watch the highlights, then click here

Venue guide - Eithad Stadium

The Etihad Stadium in Melbourne might have only opened in 2000 it is already on its fourth name - having previously been called Docklands Stadium, Colonial Stadium and the Telstra Dome. Built at a cost of $460million, the stadium is largely used for Aussie Rules Football - with the AFL headquarters based there. However the ground has also been used for football, rugby league and cricket - the Big Bash side Melbourne Renegades making it their home.

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