Stander gets B&I Lions debut against Blues
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Ireland star Christiaan Stander will start in the No.8 jersey for the British and Irish Lions against the Blues at Eden Park on Wednesday.
Stander will be one of 11 players making their British & Irish Lions debut in Auckland.
Lions head coach Warren Gatland made 15 changes to the side that kicked off the 2017 Tour with a 13-7 victory over New Zealand Provincial Barbarians on Saturday.
Wales hooker Ken Owens will captain the side
"We have made 15 changes to the starting XV and we are excited to see what this team is able to do against the Blues on Wednesday," said Gatland.
"We have stated from the off that we want to give every player a start in the first three games and Wednesday is an opportunity for this set of players to show what they can do in a Lions jersey.
"It was good to get the win under our belts last weekend. The boys in the stand were itching to get their chance and they are really excited about Wednesday.
"In terms of Ken [Owens], he has worked really hard on his recovery and it’s great to have him available. He has captained the Scarlets and has assumed a leadership role within the camp and it is a great opportunity for him.
"We are expecting a big crowd at Eden Park. It will be the first of three matches there for us and we know the atmosphere will be outstanding. We are hoping for some good weather and are expecting a tough, fast and open game of rugby.
"We have a few work ons from last weekend and we know we need to be more clinical. We created some good opportunities against the Barbarians but didn’t see them through and that is something we want to improve on Wednesday."
British and Irish Lions: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Jared Payne, 12 Robbie Henshaw, 11 Elliot Daly, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Rhys Webb, 8 Christiaan Stander, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 James Haskell, 5 Courtney Lawes, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Ken Owens (captain), 1 Jack McGrath.
Replacements: 16 Rory Best, 17 Joe Marler, 18 Kyle Sinckler, 19 Iain Henderson, 20 Peter O'Mahon, 21 Greig Laidlaw, 22 Jonathan Sexton, 23 Liam Williams.
Date: Wednesday, June 7
Venue: Eden Park, Auckland
Kick-off: 19.35 (08.35 UK & Ireland time; 07.35 GMT)
Referee: Pascal Gauzère
Assistant referees: Mathieu Raynal (France), Angus Gardner (Australia)
Television match official: Marius Jonker (South Africa)