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Farrell wants one last hurrah from Lions

Andy Farrell hopes the British and Irish Lions can reserve their best for last when they target Test series glory at Australia's expense next Saturday.

The teams are locked 1-1 heading to Sydney, with the Lions chasing a first series triumph since they beat South Africa 16 years ago. After a couple of days' rest and recuperation, the potential third Test squad will return to full training on Wednesday, when coach Warren Gatland's starting line-up should be revealed.

"I think we all realise there is a fantastic performance in every team and I don't think we've seen a fantastic performance out of this squad yet," Lions assistant coach Farrell said. "I think we've seen some very good performances. Hopefully, we will see the best at the last hurdle, come Saturday."

He added: "You've got to make sure that everyone is fully fit and ready to go because you can't carry any passengers whatsoever. That is crucial. We've got to have a fully 100 per cent fit and energised team, physically and mentally, to go at the weekend, and selection will definitely look at that."

The Lions' 16-15 loss in Melbourne on Saturday means they are now battling to avoid a repeat of their last Australia tour 12 years ago when they won the first Test, but then lost the next two. And Farrell believes the short break in Noosa will serve as ideal preparation.

"We've got to make sure that at the beginning of this week we don't play the emotional card too soon and that we save a lot in the bank for the end of the week," he added. "I think it's an ideal way of getting away, really, and having a relaxing time to recover and recuperate and get back on the horse on Wednesday."

When the Lions return to training duties, quality of set-piece possession could be high on their agenda following some impressive Australian scrum and lineout work two days ago.

"Clean ball is everything from set-piece and to getting some continuity within the game. It was a little bit of a lottery at times, we feel," Farrell said.

"We felt that Mako (Vunipola) had a binding issue from his opposing prop a couple of times, early doors. I think Australia are very streetwise. They were playing the referee, there is no doubt about that. They were very smart and I am not complaining at all.

"We got done for coming over their side of the lineout. Did they come over on ours? Of course they did. Did they get on the wrong side of the lineout in coming through the maul? Of course they did. But that's the game and they were streetwise and got away with it. Fair play to them."


From Belfast Telegraph