Hi-De-Hi campers. I’m feeling quite emotional this morning as it’s the last midweeker of the tour. Time flies, doesn’t it?
So what to expect? It could be the last game of the tour for some of the boys today, so I’m confidently predicting some ferocious performances. Let’s face it, it’s a great opportunity for some of the squad to vent their frustration at not making the Test team
Owen Farrell will no doubt be chomping at the bit today. He’s a combative young chap and watching all of the first Test from the bench must have stung. I pity the fool he lines up for his first hit this morning...
Big day for Manu as well. Jonathan Davies has had a great tour but was quiet on Saturday. The Welshman remains favourite to start the second Test if Roberts is still injured but Tuilagi could yet give Gatland the proverbial selection headache
A change to the scheduled XV - Parling is pulled out because of O'Connell's injury, so it's Riche Gray and Ian Evans in the engine room. That's a fascinating dynamic because the two locks are essentially playing against each other for a place on the bench on Saturday....
Tom Court on the bench. Assuming he won’t feature in the Tests, he’ll be desperate to come on and be able to call himself a Lion. It would be harsh to drag him all the way to Oz and not give him some game time...
Will the Rebels put up much of a fight today? Their 12th place in the Super Rugby table suggests not. The Melbourne-based franchise are denied the services of Kurtley Beale, James O'Connor and Nick Phipps – all of whom are being wrapped in cotton wool by Robbie Deans
The Rebels do though welcome former Wallaby scrum-half Luke Burgess, who’s back in Oz after a stint in France with Toulouse. Another familiar face is skipper Gareth Delve, the erstwhile Wales back rower
On the wing today for the Rebels is Lachlan Mitchell. I mention it merely because I'm struggling to think of a more stereotypical Aussie name!
Lions are out on the pitch folks...
Obligatory prematch huddle...
Rebels run out. Very dodgy kit to be fair. Blue/purple number with awful splashes of colour
1min: Standard start. Lions kick, Rebels take and clear. Lions lineout in enemy territory
2min: Lions threaten to score but Farrell's pass to Barritt goes awry
4min: It's a sellout for the first time at the AAMI by the way. The Lions are still box office it seems
5min: Lydiate is today's skipper in Parling's absence
5min: Early exchanges confirm the Rebels are going to throw the ball around at every opportunity. They've not broken through yet but their intention is pretty clear
6min: Early test for the Lions defence but Rebels mess up their attacking lineout and the danger passes
7min: Long break for a Rebels injury. A somewhat muted atmosphere in Melbourne at the moment
8min: Lions demolish the Rebels front row at scrum time. Good job by Ryan Grant there...
9min: Lions string a few phases together through Zebo, Maitland and Faletau but Rebels holding firm so far
10min: Game's a bit flat. Really needs a big hit, line break or score to liven up proceedings
13min: Nothing exciting to report I'm afraid. I could hype it up but dishonesty is not an attractive quality
15min: Plenty of ball for the Lions but not really getting over the game line. Saying that a Manu half break, a Barritt grubber and Maitland almost snaffles the try in the corner
18min: Right then, the boys are on the scoreboard. Time, I hope, to really start dominating this plucky but inexperienced Rebels side
20min: The Lions have the Rebels scrum on toast at the moment...
21min: Attacking lineout but Hibbard's yips return to haunt him. Not straight
22min: Poor handling from Cole as the Lions threaten a second try. The big beast from Leicester will be furious with that drop
24min: Referee plays the obligatory game of scrum roulette and awards a penalty to the Rebels...