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O’Mahony captains Lions against Maori All Blacks

Thu, Jun 15, 2017, Posted by   print

2007 World Cup

8:24 AM BST

ROTORUA, New Zealand — Peter O’Mahony will captain the British & Irish Lions against the Maori All Blacks on Saturday while Owen Farrell has been a late scratching from the bench.

The team selected is expected to be close to the 15 that will start the first Test against the All Blacks with Johnny Sexton given the fly-half reins and Dan Biggar called into the reserves after the Lions announced Farrell suffered a grade one quadricep strain in training. Sam Warburton is named among the replacements.

Elsewhere Mako Vunipola, Jamie George and Tadhg Furlong get the nod in the front-row with Maro Itoje and George Kruis linking up in the second-row. O’Mahony starts at blindside with Sean O’Brien at openside and Taulupe Faletau at No.8.

Conor Murray is at scrum-half with Sexton outside him with Ben Te’o and Jonathan Davies named in the centres. Anthony Watson, George North and Leigh Halfpenny form the back three.

“At this stage of the Tour it is important to build on the foundations that have been laid in the last few weeks,” Gatland said. “We were obviously disappointed with the loss against the Highlanders and realise that we need to improve in several areas, including our discipline, but we feel that overall we are building well towards the Test matches.

“Every game is a big challenge, which is what we wanted, and this is an experienced Lions team with eight of the starting 15 involved in the last Test in Australia in 2013.”

Gatland added: “Peter is a proven captain with Munster who never takes a backward step and we believe that those leadership qualities will serve us well on Saturday against a quality and determined Maori All Blacks team.”

British & Irish Lions: Leigh Halfpenny, Anthony Watson, Jonathan Davies, Ben Te’o, George North, Johnny Sexton, Conor Murray; Mako Vunipola, Jamie George, Tadhg Furlong, Maro Itoje, George Kruis, Peter O’Mahony (captain), Sean O’Brien, Taulupe Faletau

Replacements: Ken Owens, Jack McGrath, Kyle Sinckler, Iain Henderson, Sam Warburton, Greig Laidlaw, Owen Farrell, Elliot Daly

Source Article from http://www.espn.co.uk/rugby/story/_/id/19638636/peter-omahony-captains-lions-maori-all-blacks

O’Mahony captains Lions against Maori All Blacks

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