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Adrenalin fires up new boy Barritt

Brad Barritt has dismissed any fears of potential jet lag and weariness being a factor when he makes his British and Irish Lions debut.

England international Barritt will be part of a Lions threequarter unit compiled from such far-flung destinations as Los Angeles, Buenos Aires and Japan against the Brumbies. Barritt flew to Sydney from North America, while Billy Twelvetrees and Christian Wade left England's Argentina tour early, and ex-Wales wing Shane Williams was summoned from Japan.

Barritt, Wade and Williams all trained for the first time on Monday, but the Saracens centre said: "For all three of us, when there is something like this your body can just run on adrenalin. The sheer weight of what this game means to each and all of us is enough to give you motivation for a decade."

Barritt continued: "The mind is stronger than the body, and if you want to be there and you want to go out there and do a little bit for the side and not let the team down, you can achieve that.

"When Andy Farrell (Lions assistant coach) phoned me in the States, he did indicate I would be starting (on Tuesday), so I just needed to get my head around that and be prepared. On the flight, I knew it was about getting my body-clock up to speed."

Now he is with the Lions, Barritt is determined to do everything he can to not only help preserve their 100 per cent tour record, but also provide a further filip ahead of Saturday's opening Test against Australia.

"The guys have performed fantastically, and it is up to us to carry the baton on Tuesday," he said. "It is a huge motivation for us to keep that winning momentum going, and if there is a good victory it further adds to the confidence of the whole squad. The guys involved have just got to focus on that game and think of nothing else."

Wade, who at 22 is 14 years younger than Williams, has arrived in Australia with two major awards - Rugby Players' Association players' player and young player of the year - and a first England cap in his locker.

"It has been a crazy couple of months for me, with the awards to my Test debut and now being out here," he said. "As a rugby player you have got to have a sense of self-belief at all times.

"We've had the one training session to go over what we need to know for the game, but ultimately when we are out there, there are going to be situations when you are just playing off the cuff anyway, so you need to have that self-belief and just go with it."


From Belfast Telegraph