9 Jun 2013

Lions defeat Reds and accuse Wallabies of spying

9:25 am on 9 June 2013

The Lions lost a third player to injury and sparked a spying drama after their third straight tour win over the Queensland Reds in Brisbane

The 22-12 victory was tarnished by a broken hand to winger Tommy Bowe which will have the Irishman follow injured props Gethin Jenkins and Cian Healy home.

But the British and Irish Lions management had more to worry about after alleging Australian spies infiltrated their training session in Perth in the build up to Wednesday night's 69-17 win over the Western Force.

The Lions will be on edge about the Wallabies extracting extra intelligence on their strategies and calls in the wake of their last visit to Australia 12 years ago.

In the 2001 tour, Wallabies coach Rod Macqueen used Scott Johnson, now Scotland's director of rugby, as a ball boy for early tour matches where Johnson secretly accrued data on the Lions' lineout calls.

Macqueen admitted Johnson's information helped Australia win a major key moment in the deciding third Test when debutant lock Justin Harrison stole a pivotal lineout in his quarter in the dying minutes to ensure a maiden series victory.

With Bowe ruled out of the tour, compatriot Simon Zebo is the frontrunner to be called into the Lions 37-man squad ahead of England's Chris Ashton.