/ Rugby

New Lions arrivals ready for action

Updated: Wednesday, 29 May 2013 08:45 | Comments

Manu Tuilagi: 'For the boys who have just come down we need to be ready for the first game which we are available for.'
Manu Tuilagi: 'For the boys who have just come down we need to be ready for the first game which we are available for.'

Manu Tuilagi insists the late arrivals into the Lions squad have wasted no time bedding into their new environment.

Tuilagi is one of 16 players from Leicester, Northampton, Leinster and Ulster who joined the squad in London on Sunday before embarking on the flight to Hong Kong on Monday evening.

The Lions will select mainly from the 21 who were involved in their two-week training camp for Saturday's opener against the Barbarians.

"The squad's been in camp for two weeks so those of us who came down on Sunday have been getting up to speed," Tigers wrecking ball Tuilagi said.

"We had a sit down with Owen Farrell and Jamie Roberts who told us what we need to know.

"For the boys who have just come down we need to be ready for the first game which we are available for."

Leicester thumped rivals Northampton 37-17 at Twickenham in their ninth successive appearance in the Premiership's showpiece.

The headline incident of a bruising spectacle was the dismissal of Saints hooker Dylan Hartley for abusing referee Wayne Barnes, an act that result in an 11-week ban and his exclusion from the Lions tour.

Ireland's Rory Best was called up in his place and Tuilagi has sympathy for his England team-mate.

"It was a great way to end the season with Leicester and now I'm looking forward to the Lions tour," the 22-year-old said.

"Losing the last two finals meant it felt a lot better winning the third time. It was a great feeling.

"The boys got together on the bus home after the game and had a few drinks, but some of us had to be up early in the morning to join the Lions.

"I felt sad for Dylan Hartley because of what happened in the final, it was a missed opportunity for him.

"He must be absolutely gutted at the moment, but that's the way the game goes. You learn and move on."

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