Rugby: Lions open 125th anniversary tour with 59-8 rout over Barbarians

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Mike Phillips and Alex Cuthbert scored two tries apiece as the British and Irish Lions kicked off their 125th anniversary tour with a 59-8 win over the Barbarians in Hong Kong on Saturday.

Tries from skipper Paul O'Connell and Phillips helped the Lions to a 23-3 half-time lead and the floodgates opened after the break with scrum-half Phillips adding a second, winger Cuthbert grabbing his brace and fellow Welshmen Jonathan Davies, Dan Lydiate and Alun Wyn-Jones also crossing.

Owen Farrell pressed his claim for the fly-half spot in the Test team with 15 points from an assured display of kicking until his rival Jonny Sexton took over before the hour mark.

The Lions will face much tougher opposition in their nine matches in Australia, not least in three tests against the Wallabies, but former All Black Joe Rokocoko showed a few flashes of class and set up a try for Samoan Kahn Fotuali'i.

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