Vickery backed to tame Beast

Joe Worsley believes Phil Vickery will be ‘over the moon’ to face Beast Mtawarira once more at scrum-time.

Mtawarira’s dismantling of Vickery in the first Test has been well documented, but the English prop has another chance to attempt to restore his reputation in the final match at Ellis Park. Factors favouring Vickery compared to the first Test are that the Lions will field a much heavier tight five, while his front row partners of Andrew Sheridan and Matthew Rees are stronger scrummagers than Gethin Jenkins and Lee Mears.

Worsley, who will make his Lions debut on the flank, says club team-mate Vickery will relish the opportunity.

‘I have known the guy for years,’ said Worsley. ‘When you do have a bad game or things go against you, you are just waiting for the next opportunity to go out there and do something about it.

‘I bet he’s over the moon that he has got a chance this weekend, rather than stewing all summer.’

Worsley claimed there will be no psychological scars and said Vickery’s strength of character will also be a positive.

‘There are a lot of tough nuts out there, and he’s one of the toughest.’

Vickery also received praise from coach Ian McGeechan.

‘Phil is a world-class prop and an outstanding tourist,’ said McGeechan. ‘He put all his efforts into supporting Adam [Jones] when he got the position for the second Test, and you couldn’t have asked for any more.

‘Technically, he helped him, worked with him, and that’s the way he has kept himself very close to what we have been doing. He has been tremendous in the support he has given.’