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The Lions have arrived

Friday, June 21, 2013 - 3:00 PM
Source: SportsFan
Author: Matt Burke

This weekend sees the start of the Test series between the Wallabies and the British & Irish Lions in Brisbane.

There has been so much hype around the series and rightly so – they haven't been to our shores for 12 years.

Yet the purpose of this blog is not to talk about the three Test matches, but more about the importance of this series for rugby in Australia.

The strength of rugby in Australia is judged on the Wallaby brand. Yes it's important for the provincial teams to do well, but if the national team is successful it makes the selling of the game just that much easier.  

The Wallabies of recent years haven't had much to crow about in terms of collecting trophies. In fact the Tom Richards trophy, the trophy played for between the Lions and Wallabies, is the last one in our possession and that's been in the cabinet for the over a decade.

It's so important for the Wallabies to put on a good display of rugby; to provide entertainment for the fans to walk away with something to remember from this occasion.

Is winning the priority on this occasion? Yes and no.

"Yes" because I am being selfish and want the Wallabies to emulate what was achieved in 2001.

"No" because if there is a competitiveness to these games that may just suffice in meeting the public's need to simply see good rugby being played.

But the appetite for success sometimes outweighs the need to put on a show.

In this instance the immediate success of the Wallabies will be judged on the results in the next three weeks, but what will also be measured will be the crowd support for the games.

Fortunately we Aussies will have a voice in Brisbane that will resonate around Suncorp Stadium, and that will be matched – if not bettered – by the tourists who have flooded our streets wearing lots of red.

Catch Matt Burke and the gang on the Clubhouse, live on SportsFan at 8pm, Mondays to Thursdays.

Follow Matt Burke on Twitter @burkey710 or SportsFan on Twitter @sportsfan_live.

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