The opening bat Lauren Winfield was ruled out with

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Those who query the Lions’ future would have been well advised to consult Authentic Andrew Franks Womens Jersey Owen Farrell on the eve of the first Test. As a player on his second Lions tour, about to face the sport’s ultimate challenge, the fly-half has seldom sounded more motivated. Top players relish big occasions and few come bigger than this.From where Farrell sits all the players feel the same way; he thinks it is “very strange” some doubt the Lions concept. “When you see the hype around it, how much the players enjoy it and how much everybody involved loves it … it seems like everybody grips on to it when it’s happening so I don’t see why anything negative is said about it. The buy-in and how much players look forward to it is huge.”The glint in his eye, in short, is entirely unforced. Even as a rugby league-playing nine-year-old, Farrell remembers being struck by Brian O’Driscoll’s slaloming try in the first Test against Australia at the Gabba in 2001, the sea of red in the crowd and the general sense of special moments on the other side of the world.sixteen years later that thrill is still there, with the assistant coach Rob Howley optimistic about the squad’s chances on the eve of battle: “Test-match rugby is about winning and we feel we’ve got Test-match animals. The confidence of the players showed this morning in training. I think they believe they can win.”Her absence also splits a young, dynamic opening partnership with Tammy Beaumont. The pair spent years together defacing the record books at Loughborough University and were starting to do the same at international level. In the second ODI against Pakistan last summer, they both scored maiden Breshad Perriman Authentic Jersey centuries on their way to setting a record opening stand of 235. It was also the sixth highest for any ODI wicket.Mark Robinson, the England coach, confirmed Winfield’s replacement has been informed she will be opening. Those outside the squad will find out at the toss. They are not short of options: Knight and Sarah Taylor have opened, while the less established duo of Georgia Elwiss and Fran Wilson are perfectly capable against the new ball.None of these worries change anything for Knight. She welcomes the pressure of being hosts, determined to make good on a year’s worth of graft since a disappointing World T20.“As a team we have really tried to embrace that it is a home World Cup,” she said. “We know that brings added pressure but we are in a good place to deal with that. Having the crowd on our side will be a nice feeling but obviously there are a lot of India fans in England. That’ll make for an interesting day.”For Farrell, as always, the roaring legends and memories will count for little. Opposite him will be Beauden Barrett, who is easily quick and talented enough to carve out his own slice of Dan Carter-style history. “It is exciting but what you’ve got to remember is not to play the occasion,” Farrell said. “It’s a game of rugby. You can’t be thinking what other people are thinking about or getting excited about external things. It has to be about the team and what we need to do to win. You obviously go into the game with a plan but things can change pretty quickly so you have to be prepared.”Having earned the nod at No10 ahead of his one-time mentor Johnny Sexton, he is also not about to start fretting about the All Blacks’ 23-year-long unbeaten record at Eden Park. “They’re a fantastic team and they’ve got a fantastic record, especially over here; no one is questioning that.“But if you go in thinking about past games, you’re thinking about stuff that probably doesn’t matter. You’re trying to convince yourself rather than just playing what’s ahead of you. You are better off doing your preparation then forgetting about it and going in with a clear mind; that allows you to see what’s in front of you.


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