Ready for the might of Australia A
Posted in England Lions
Following an arduous journey, with more stopovers than we had hot meals, we arrived in Melbourne, and it was raining. The irony.
After a couple of days of recovering from the jet lag, we set about training. The first few days were at the MCG, which is a colossal stadium and immediately makes you think how imposing it would be with a packed, rowdy crowd at the Boxing Day Test.
With the weather improving it was nice to be outside with the sun on our backs and begin preparations.
Melbourne is a really picturesque place, with a great blend of culture and plenty to do. There's plenty to look at when walking around and some great places to eat.
The first game of the tour was at Junction Oval against a strong Victoria side containing a number of internationals, such as Rob Quiney, Cameron White and David Hussey.
We were outplayed comprehensively, but the bigger picture is that the lads need game time and the loss still serviced our need to adjust to the conditions.
It was clear there was a bit of rustiness in the group but there were still some good performances and it also served as a timely reminder that it is going to be a hard fought series.
The Australia A side was named shortly after the game and contains a lot of international pedigree. I think I speak on behalf of the group when I say that has given us added motivation to perform and would make a victory over here even more special.
Any time playing against Australia is a great occasion but to see them put out a side with a lot of older players battling for international spots, such as Adam Voges and Shaun Marsh, highlights how much they want to beat us.
We move on to Hobart tomorrow and the series begins on Saturday, and I think the first victory would be Titch (James Taylor) winning the toss for a change!
Hopefully the next time I'm writing I'll be toasting a 2-0 lead in the series, but either way it is set to be a tough challenge, and one we are relishing.