British & Irish Lions
'Australia are treating the Lions with contempt'
ESPN Staff
June 5, 2013
Sir Clive Woodward OBE, Director of Sport for the British Olympic Association speaks during a IOC meetings, Westminster Bridge Park Plaza, London, England, April 6, 2011
Sir Clive Woodward believes the Lions are being treated with contempt © Getty Images

Sir Clive Woodward believes Australia are jeopardising their chances of hosting the British & Irish Lions in the future by treating the elite tourists with "contempt".

The former England and Lions boss has launched his latest verbal broadside after the Western Force's decision to name an under-strength side for their clash against the tourists in Perth on Wednesday.

Woodward, who led the Lions to New Zealand in 2005, wrote in The Daily Mail: "It is unacceptable and disgraceful to cobble together a weakened, second-string club team to play against some of the best players in the world on one of the great rugby tours.

"Having lived and worked in Australia for five years, there is no bigger supporter of Australian sport but what on earth is going on? Can you imagine Leicester inviting the All Blacks to Welford Road and putting out a second-string side? It simply would not happen.

"Treating the Lions with such contempt threatens to undermine their status in the global game.

"The Lions come to Australia once every 12 years but if this is how they are going to be treated in this country then they should seriously consider whether to return."

Force coach Michael Foley has defended his selection, that includes seven debutants, citing player welfare with his side set for their latest Super Rugby clash on Saturday.

As a result, just two players - Toby Lynn and Matt Hodgson - who started against their last clash against Highlanders will start against the Lions.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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