1 May 2013

Lions squad holds no surprises for Deans

5:42 pm on 1 May 2013

The Australia rugby coach Robbie Deans isn't surprised by the British and Irish Lions squad selection and expects a traditional approach in the upcoming three-test series starting in June across the Tasman.

Deans is signalling he thinks the tourists to play to the usual northern hemisphere strengths of power and tactical kicking.

In return, the New Zealander promises a distinct gameplan for his Wallabies and expects to be able to call on 110-cap flanker George Smith, as well as troubled back Kurtley Beale.

Deans also looks likely to employ the power and pace of code-hopping fullback Israel Folau after describing the former rugby league international as a potential "legend" in union.

As for the Lions, Deans says he had expected compatriot Warren Gatland to pick a hefty core of Welshmen in his squad - there were 15 named - particularly after their 30-3 hammering of England in the last match of the Six Nations.

And Deans says he doesn't think the selection of just two specialist first five eighths in Jonny Sexton and Owen Farrell is a risk and expects the in-form veteran Jonny Wilkinson to be on the first flight to Australia should either suffer an injury.

Wilkinson ruled himself out of selection, claiming his body can't handle touring anymore.