I'm no thug, claims eye-gouging Burger

SOUTH AFRICA flanker Schalk Burger has refused to apologise for eye-gouging Lions wing Luke Fitzgerald in last weekend&rsquo;s bruising second Test.<br /><br />Burger has been banned for eight weeks after being cited for the offence in the Springboks&rsquo; series-clinching 28-25 win in Pretoria.<br /><br />But, ahead of tomorrow&rsquo;s third and final clash in Johannesburg, Burger defended his actions, which he maintained were accidental.<br /><br />&ldquo;Through my life and career I have always approached the game with the intention only of playing it hard and fair,&rdquo; said Burger. &ldquo;I am not a rugby thug and will never intentionally engage in eye-gouging or similar illegal actions. I am therefore grateful that the judicial officer confirmed my stance with his conclusion that there was no deliberate eye-gouging as charged by the citing official.&rdquo;<br /><br />Lions head coach Ian McGeechan, meanwhile, has urged his much-changed team to end the tour on a high note. &ldquo;The players out there will want to respond very positively &ndash; if we win it will be very sweet,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;We are keen to finish off with a win.&rdquo;<br /><br />England Riki Flutey returns to partner Tommy Bowe in midfield while Ugo Monye takes Bowe&rsquo;s place on the right wing, with Shane Williams on the left.<br /><br />Prop Phil Vickery returns to the front row with Andrew Sheridan &ndash; one of three players to make their first Lions starts, along with flankers Martyn Williams and Joe Worsley.<br /><br />LIONS V SOUTH AFRICA, 3RD TEST<br /><strong>Team:</strong> R Kearney; U Monye, T Bowe, R Flutey S Williams, S Jones, M Phillips; A Sheridan, M Rees, P Vickery, S Shaw, P O&rsquo;Connell (capt), J Worsley, M Williams, J Heaslip.<br /><strong>Replacements:</strong> R Ford, J Hayes, A-W Jones, P Wallace, T Croft, H Ellis J Hook.