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Wallabies to finetune preparations for Lions

28 February 2013 11:04

A 25-man Wallabies squad is set to be put into camp for three weeks of preparation ahead of the British and Irish Lions tour in June.

Australian Rugby Union (ARU) CEO Bill Pulver has revealed the Wallabies will start their training camp on June 2 to prepare for the first visit to Australia by the Lions since 2001.

Pulver believes it is crucial that the Wallabies are given as much opportunity to prepare for the Lions as possible, as the ARU considers victory over the touring side to be vitally important.

"There is no doubt from an Australian rugby perspective that when the Lions come to Australia for their nine-match tour from June 5 to July 6 the primary objective is for the Qantas Wallabies to win the three-Test series and preparation is crucial," Pulver said on Thursday.

"The Lions will be battle hardened, make no mistake.

"Their players are currently involved in the Six Nations Championship in Europe.

"They will also have a match in Hong Kong en route to Australia and five lead-up games to the first Test."

The players selected by head coach Robbie Deans will be unavailable for matches between the Lions and Super Rugby clubs in the lead-up to the three-Test series.

But they may be allowed to play in the Australian Super Rugby derbies when the Brumbies host the Rebels on June 7 and the Force head to Sydney to play the Waratahs on June 9.

"If those Super Rugby matches have significant bearing on the competition standings, and finals spots are at stake, ARU will take that under serious consideration," Pulver said.

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