Sam Warburton
Warburton leads the Lions in pursuit of a first series win since 1997.

Where to Watch Australia v British and Irish Lions Live

Kick off: 11:05am

TV: Live on Sky Sports 1 HD

Radio: Live commentary on talkSPORT 1089 kHz


Warren Gatland's injury ravaged Lions head into the first test at Suncorp seeking to spark into life a first tour series win since 1997.

That year, Martin Johnson inspired the Lions to a 2-1 series win over South Africa, but the class of 2013 will look to an altogether different character in Sam Warburton to help lead them against an Australia team whose wins over England and Wales last Autumn suggest they pose a credible threat to extending the Lions wait for a series win.

Despite being without David Pocock, George Smith, Scott Higginbotham, Sitaleki Timani and Tatafu Polota, the Walabies do welcome back Kurtley Beale after off-the-field problems, while the finest footballer in world rugby, Will Genia, leads a back line which includes James O'Connor ahead of Quade Cooper.

The Lions have a host of injury problems themselves to deal with, as both Gethin Jenkins and Cian Healy have withdrawn with injury, while Warburton, Tommy Bowe, Rob Kearney and Manu Tuilagi are among those to have received limited game time during the six warm-up games in Hong Kong and Australia. Jamie Roberts' hamstring injury in the penultimate warm-up match rules him out of the first test.

It is yet to be seen whether the six warm-up games have left the Lions adequately prepared for the rigours of a three-match series, but emphatic wins over the Barbarians, Western Force, New South Wales Waratahs and a Combined New South Wales XV have raised questions over the motives of those teams chosen for the tour. Those concerns are likely to swell should the hosts take a 1-0 series lead in Brisbane.

Team News

Robbie Deans has selected three uncapped players for the first test in Israel Folau, Christian Leali'fano and Ben Mowen. O'Connor starts at fly-half for the second time and Berrick Barnes at full-back

Australia: 15 Berrick Barnes, 14 Israel Folau, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Christian Leali'ifano, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 James O'Connor, 9 Will Genia, 1 Benn Robinson, 2 Stephen Moore, 3 Ben Alexander, 4 Kane Douglas, 5 James Horwill (c), 6 Ben Mowen, 7 Michael Hooper, 8 Wycliff Palu.

Replacements: 16 Saia Fainga'a, 17 James Slipper, 18 Sekope Kepu, 19 Rob Simmons, 20 Liam Gill, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Pat McCabe, 23 Kurtley Beale.

George North has recovered from a hamstring strain but Roberts is out with a similar injury. Alex Corbisiero begins at loosehead having been called late into the squad and Tom Youngs gets the nod at hooker.

British and Irish Lions: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Brian O'Driscoll, 12 Jonathan Davies, 11 George North, 10 Jonny Sexton, 9 Mike Phillips, 1 Alex Corbisiero, 2 Tom Youngs, 3 Adam Jones, 4 Alun-Wyn Jones, 5 Paul O'Connell, 6 Tom Croft, 7 Sam Warburton (c), 8 Jamie Heaslip.

Replacements: 16 Richard Hibbard, 17 Mako Vunipola, 18 Dan Cole, 19 Geoff Parling, 20 Dan Lydiate, 21 Ben Youngs, 22 Owen Farrell, 23 Sean Maitland.