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Australia ready for Lions challenge

Liam Gill insists Australia have been braced for an opening-second onslaught from the British and Irish Lions at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday.

The Wallabies expect the Lions to make a ferocious start to the series and are preparing to fight fire with fire as they seek to avoid a similar outcome to 2001 when the hosts were stunned 29-13 in the first Test. Gill, who is competing with Michael Hooper to start at openside, is determined that his side will meet them head on.

"We're very wary of how they will start and how they've started each series for the preceding 12 years," the Queensland Reds flanker said.

"They come out at a rate of knots, so we understand that we have to front up and be there from the first 10 minutes until the last 10 minutes. I believe that's where the games will be won and lost.

"We have to combat the intensity they bring. We've tried to understand how they will give it to us and we know they will give it everything right from the start."

While the Lions have been busy putting some mediocre provincial opposition to the sword, Australia have been in camp preparing for the three-Test series that continues in Melbourne and Sydney.

Coach Robbie Deans chose to make his Wallabies unavailable to face the tourists outside the internationals and Gill admits the anticipation is building.

"It's a Godsend to have a few weeks off. It's been nice, but it was hard watching each of our franchises take on the Lions and sitting back and waiting for our turn," he said.

"But it's made it exciting and has put us in a good place to take them on. We're understanding more and more about the pressure of this event.

"We're starting to get excited. We've had a taste of what's to come from watching the franchises play, but I don't think it will compare to the Test series."

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