British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland building team
Last Updated: 07/06/13 3:46am
Warburton fit to start
British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland admits Saturday's game against Queensland Reds is another step nearer to deciding his best team ahead of the first Test against Australia on June 22.
Gatland watched his side demolish Western Force 69-17 in Perth on Wednesday but the match was marred by a left ankle injury to Ireland prop Cian Healy, who was later cited for a biting incident.
The Kiwi accepted that the prognosis on Healy's injury "doesn't look brilliant" ahead of a citing decision which could suspend him from the game for a minimum of 12 weeks if found guilty.
Gatland called up Alex Corbisiero from England's tour of Argentina as cover as a precaution with the London Irish front row due to land in Australia on Saturday.
"In fairness to the Western Force team, they played for 80 minutes and didn't
throw in the towel, which is exactly what we expected," Gatland said.
"We are mixing and matching a little, but giving players an opportunity. We said right from the start we would give everyone a start in the first three games, and that's what we've done.
"Two games and two victories is great, but those two matches are building blocks as we head towards the Test series."
Wales and Lions captain Sam Warburton will be back from a knee injury to boost Gatland's options and the back row will be charged with keeping a close watch on mercurial Australian fly-half Quade Cooper.
"I have played against Quade a few times. He's an outstanding player, with great footwork, and I am sure he will pose a different threat at 10 than what we've faced the last two weeks," Warburton said.
"He will definitely be an attacking threat, and that's what you want. You want to play against players like Quade because you want to test out your defensive system."