Robbie Deans expects "epic" British and Irish Lions battle

Australia rugby coach Robbie Deans on May 23, 2013
© PA Photos
Australia coach Robbie Deans predicts an "epic occasion" when his side host the British and Irish Lions in the first Test later today.

Australia coach Robbie Deans has insisted that today's first Test against the British and Irish Lions will represent an "epic occasion" in the sporting landscape.

The Lions will take on Australia in Brisbane tomorrow for the first time in 12 years, with the tourists aiming for their first successful campaign since edging South Africa in 1997.

Deans believes that the Lions will present a unique challenge and have the advantage of considerable time to prepare, but thinks that his young side are ready to deliver under pressure.

He told reporters: "It is unique, not just in rugby. It is unique in world sport. It's going to be an epic occasion.

"We have witnessed the Lions play but we have built our game around what we bring to the table. We have tapped into the past, we've prepared as best as we can and we can't do any more without playing to be frank.

"We have made the most of the time we have had and I can assure you they will hit the ground running. The side that can generate the momentum will have the greater chance to impose their wills on the opposition. We hope to bring some momentum into the game and play off that because we have the capacity to play."

The Wallabies side to take on Warren Gatland's Lions later today will feature three debutants, with Israel Folau, Ben Mowen and Christian Leali'ifano all handed their first international starts by Deans.

James O'Connor
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