Warren Gatland adds physicality for Australia clash

Gatland adds physicality for Australia clash
© PA Photos
Warren Gatland says that he wanted to add more physicality to his team ahead of the British and Irish Lions' second Test against Australia.

British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland has opted to make his starting XV more physical ahead of the second Test against Australia this weekend.

Prior to the match at the Etihad Stadium, the Welshman dropped Mike Phillips, Tom Croft and Alex Cuthbert and replaced them with Ben Youngs, Dan Lydiate and Tommy Bowe.

However, Gatland is adamant that the alterations he has made are tactical decisions and not due to form.

"This is a do-or-die match for Australia so we've decided to add some physicality to the side. Croft and O'Brien can give us explosiveness off the bench. The fact we've made five changes shows how strong the squad is. One or two changes have been forced on us by injury," Gatland told Sky Sports News.

"We said after the first Test that we had improvement in us and we are confident that this is the case. Several players have put their hands up this week and have forced their way into the Test side while several players have returned to fitness.

"That is typical of Lions tours. We want players to constantly push for selection, we then select who is on form and who is available. Based on that we have selected a squad that is capable of winning the Test and securing the series."

Geoff Parling and Mako Vunipola also come into the team in place of injured duo Paul O'Connell and Alex Corbisiero.

Lions coach Warren Gatland at a press conference on May 13, 2013
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