Captain Warburton returns for Lions

Sun, 11 Jun 2017 07:10
Large sam warburton with b i lions logo 800

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT:  Wales flank Sam Warburton has returned from injury to lead a confident British and Irish Lions in their fourth tour match against the Highlanders at Forsyth Barr Stadium on Tuesday.

On the back of the weekend victory over the Canterbury Crusaders, a buoyed Lions have changed their entire starting line-up.

Coach Warren Gatland believes his side are gathering momentum towards the first Test but expects a "massive" confrontation with the Highlanders, who only just lost to the Crusaders the previous week.

Along with the return of Warburton, who has not been seen since the tour opener, the side also includes James Haskell who previously played with the Highlanders, with former Crusader Jared Payne at fullback.

Ospreys and Wales teammates Rhys Webb and Dan Biggar are in the halves.

"At this stage of the Tour everyone has had a start and as coaches we are happy that all the players have had a chance to put their hand up and perform in the Lions jersey," Gatland said when naming his side on Sunday.    

We are building some momentum and we have improved with every game.   

"We were obviously pleased with the win against the Crusaders, especially our defence and game management, but we know the Highlanders will be another massive test for us as a squad."

British & Irish Lions: 15 Jared Payne, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Robbie Henshaw, 11 Tommy Seymour, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Rhys Webb, 8 Christiaan Stander, 7 Sam Warburton (captain), 6 James Haskell, 5 Iain Henderson, 4 Courtney Lawes, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Rory Best, 1 Joe Marler.
Replacements: 16 Ken Owens, 17 Jack McGrath, 18 Dan Cole, 19 Alun Wyn Jones, 20 Justin Tipuric, 21 Greig Laidlaw, 22 Owen Farrell, 23 Elliot Daly

Date: Tuesday, June 13
Venue: Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
Kick-off:19.35 (08.35 UK & Ireland time; 07.35 GMT)
Referee: TBC
Assistant referees: TBC
TMO: TBC

 

Agence France-Presse

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