British and Irish Lions: Assistant Rob Howley predicts a backlash

Last Updated: 19/06/13 10:11am

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Rob Howley: Confident of Brisbane backlash

Rob Howley: Confident of Brisbane backlash

Sky Bet

British and Irish Lions assistant coach Rob Howley is hoping the defeat to the Brumbies will inspire them to a Test series victory in Australia.

Giant Wales wing George North has returned to full fitness to boost head coach Warren Gatland's options ahead of the opening international in Brisbane on Saturday.

And Howley insisted the Lions would have the resolve to be able to recover at Suncorp Stadium from the demoralising midweek 14-12 defeat in Canberra.

"We had a meeting about the game and the nature of a Lions tour is that you must move on. We're bitterly disappointed and will take the hit," he said.

"On a Lions tour you talk about the importance of momentum and in the last four or five matches we've had momentum. Now it's about how we react to that game.

"It's important this team and squad come together and I'm sure that everyone will be behind the 23 selected for Saturday."

Confident

The Welshman was confident of a much improved display this weekend and, when asked his thoughts after defeat in Australia's capital, added: "Absolutely something like this can make you stronger. It gave us a reality check, in particular at the breakdown.

"Physicality and intensity have been key ingredients of our performance, but for whatever reason that was missing.

"When you lose you can get a galvanising effect on the squad and that's been very apparent in the last 12 hours in particular.

"We were disappointed by the performance because there were opportunities for players to put their hands up and some of them didn't.

"We spoke about the badge on the jersey getting bigger and against the Brumbies it was dented a bit, and I'm sure we'll see a reaction."

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