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Farrell: No paranoia in camp

Andy Farrell has dismissed any suggestion of paranoia in the British and Irish Lions camp regarding apparent Australian surveillance of their playing movements.

Farrell's comments echoed those of Lions head coach Warren Gatland, who said "there was no allegation of spying" aimed at the Australian camp and that he had "no issue" with the Australians videoing last week's Western Force game in Perth.

The Australian Rugby Union subsequently issued a statement, "flatly denying that anyone connected to the Wallabies has been involved in filming or watching the Lions at training".

Wallabies head coach Robbie Deans claimed the whole affair was "just a sideshow" - and Lions assistant coach Farrell said: "We are not paranoid.

"If we are paranoid about getting things right then yes, we are. You've got to get things right. We are leaving nothing to chance. It is important we have everything covered on and off the field. We are trying to do our best on the field, and off the field we have to make sure that nothing gets in the way of the on-field stuff as well."

Security is evident at the Lions' training venues in Australia, although some of the work-outs have seen members of the public permitted to be in attendance, such as for a session at a Brisbane grammar school last week.

The Lions are now preparing for Tuesday's game against a Combined Country XV in Newcastle, and Jamie Heaslip has hailed the "great" presence of his fellow Irishman and four-time Lions tourist Brian O'Driscoll.

Ireland skipper Heaslip will run out behind his Leinster colleague when O'Driscoll skippers the Lions for a second time on their Australia tour, and he said: "I have been lucky enough to have Brian captain me with Leinster, with Ireland, on the last (Lions) tour for one or two of the games and again last week (against Western Force).

"I've been around him for a while now, and it's great to be either side of him - either captain of him or captained by him. Just being on the field beside the guy is great. He's a leader, both on and off the field, and he does a lot of stuff that you wouldn't necessarily see.

"He sets a really, really good example for players off the field and he backs that up with his performance and the way he goes about his business on the field. It's great to have him as captain."


From Belfast Telegraph