British and Irish Lions: Sir Clive Woodward unsurprised by Alex Corbisiero inclusion

Last Updated: 20/06/13 1:04pm

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Former Lions head coach Sir Clive Woodward has stated that he was not surprised to see Alex Corbisiero named in the starting XV for the first Test against Australia.

Woodward insisted that he agrees with Warren Gatland's decision and would have made the same choice if he had been in charge.

The World Cup-winning coach believes that no one can have any complaints over the line-up for Saturday's game in Brisbane.

"It's a very good team," Woodward told Sky Sports News. "I think, to be fair, I would have picked Corbisiero if I was on the inside knowing he's fit. He's definitely, when he's fully fit, ahead of (Mako) Vunipola so I think it's a very strong team.

"Speaking to all the media, everyone seems pretty happy with it."

Whilst it is the inclusion of loosehead Corbisiero that has received most attention, Woodward preferred to focus on the powerful looking back row.

"The back row is incredibly strong but I think you need a bit of luck on Lions tours as well," added the 57-year-old.

"I think that in the team that played the Waratahs last week, the three back rows were outstanding - (Tom) Croft, (Jamie) Heaslip and (Sam) Warbuton.

"It's been tough on (Justin) Tipuric and (Sean) O'Brien, especially, because they've not played in the big games but, you know, that's part of it. But that's just the first Test match, you can play your way back into the Test (squad).

"I think the team played really well last Saturday night and that's given everyone the nod."

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