After the extensive set of warm-up matches ahead of the test series, expectation is at an all-time high as the Lions set out to take on Australia in the much-anticipated first match in Brisbane.
Warren Gatlan’s Lions head into their first series down-under for 12 years and are in search of their first tour win since 1997.
The Lions have been preparing for the three-test series since late May and played six-warm up matches ahead of the big kick-off on Saturday.
The preparations began with a 59-8 win over the Barbarians in a commemorative match held in Hong Kong to mark the 125th anniversary of the Lions’ first tour.
Victories have since followed in matches against Western Force, Queensland Reds, Combined Country and the New South Wales Waraths during their tour across Oz.
The victories over Queensland and New South Wales were particularly pleasing as they represented the toughest challenges in the build-up to the main show.
A minor set-back came on Tuesday as the Brumbies secured a 14-12 victory over the Lions in their final warm-up game.
But after the string of good results ahead of that game, the squad will be high on confidence and should be fully prepared for their biggest challenge of the summer so far.
Leigh Halfpenny, Jonathan Davies, Alex Cuthbert and Brian O’Driscoll have all shone out for the Lions so far, having all scored three tries each so far.
They’ll need to keep up their good form for their team to taste true success over the coming weeks as the test series gets underway.
Australia are a fairly unknown entity ahead of the series having not played any matches as a team ahead of the series.
Coach Robbie Deans has elected to choose three debutants for the first test match at the Suncorp Stadium on Saturday evening.
Former rugby league international Israel Folau will begin the match at right wing whilst Christian Leali’ifano has been chosen over Pat McCabe at inside centre. The third debutant is Ben Mowen who starts at blind-side flanker.
New South Wales Waratahs’ Folou only switched codes five months ago having previously been the youngest rugby league international for Australia at one point.
Lock James Horwill is set to captain the side but has not played a test match for 18 months, having missed the whole of last season with a hamstring injury.
But the Aussies have a number of other notable players unavailable for the series through injury: flankers David Pocock, George Smith and Scott Higginbotham, lock Sitaleki Timani and hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau.
The Lions are slight favourites to take the opening win of the series with a number of bookies including Paddy Power offering the best prices of 8/13. Sportingbet provide the best odds on an Australian win at 17/10.
In terms of the first try scorer markets, Welshman Alex Cuthbert is favourite with most outlets and Paddy Power offer odds of 11/1. Compatriot George North is also tipped highly to score first and Sky Bet offer odds of 12/1.
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The game kicks off at 11am BST and can be seen live on Sky Sports 1.