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Croft may only have one chance to impress

Croft in training

Jun 05, 2013

Tom Croft made his Lions debut in South Africa last year, but with fierce competition from the likes of Dan Lydiate, Croft knows that todays match against Western Force could be his key chance to impress.

"You may only get one chance to play, and you have got to take it," he said.

"If you come off the pitch with regrets, you have only yourself to blame.

"These are the last few games of the season and you have got to go all out and hope you do enough to win a Test place.

"It could be your last game if you don't perform. You have to go out and give everything left in the tank. There is no point holding anything back."

Croft, who became the first forward in Lions history to score two tries against the Springboks in the first Test in 2009, has made a remarkable comeback after a fractured vertebrae in April 2012 saw him close to becoming permanently paralysed, 

"He's a special player is Tom," said Lions forwards coach Graham Rowntree. "He has done exceptionally well to come back from a nasty injury.

"We couldn't ignore his form as England selectors, and those performances have got him on the plane for this trip.

"He has got good competition. 'Lyds' [Dan Lydiate] played very well on Saturday, so the challenge is there for Tom, and we've got other guys in the back row that can play six as well."

"For a lot of these guys, it is their first chance in a Lions shirt," said Rowntree ahead of Wednesday's match in Perth. "But on this tour, if you don't perform very quickly, you can easily go to the back of the queue.

"After the Reds game [on Saturday] I think we have got to start making some decisions on combinations and having a look at people.

"And certainly by the Waratahs [on Saturday, 15 June] and ACT games [on Tuesday, 18 June], we need to know who we are going to start with in the first Test. But at this point in time there is everything to play for."

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