An article from National Player Development Manager Rosemary Towner...
The historic first Lions test in Brisbane will be long remembered as one of the best international games in recent memory. While the records will forever proclaim the Lions as 23-21 winners, the gallant efforts of the severely depleted Wallabies outfit will go a long way towards easing the pain of defeat, and provide hope for the further two tests.
The Wallabies finished the game with five players under an injury cloud, and a back-line far removed from that originally named on paper. Within the first 47 minutes, three Australian’s were stretchered off the field, with Christian Lealiifano’s Wallaby debut lasting a mere 38 seconds before a heavy concussion forced his substitution.
The pleasing aspect of all three serious incidents was the response of the players and medical staff from both sides, who were all quick to assess the situation and provide first aid and support to the injured players. In spite of the feeling from either side, it demonstrated respect and professionalism of the highest regard.
RUPA would like to particularly acknowledge the efforts of Lions centre Jonathon Davies and Stephen Moore for their efforts to assist Lealiifano, as well as Lions team Doctor James Robson, for assisting the Australian Medical team in providing aid to Berrick Barnes.
International Rugby is a high stakes game, played by some of the world’s greatest athletes. We applaud the staff and players of both sides for their sportsmanship, and respect shown for player welfare.