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Lions view 'Canes clash as Test tryout

25 June 2017 - 13:17 By AFP
TJ Perenara of the All Blacks kicks the ball upfield during the Test match between the New Zealand All Blacks and the British & Irish Lions at Eden Park on June 24, 2017 in Auckland, New Zealand.
TJ Perenara of the All Blacks kicks the ball upfield during the Test match between the New Zealand All Blacks and the British & Irish Lions at Eden Park on June 24, 2017 in Auckland, New Zealand.
Image: Getty Images

Disappointed British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland sees Tuesday’s clash with the Wellington Hurricanes as a way for players to force their way in to the Test line-up.

The All Blacks’ 30-15 first Test win in Auckland on Saturday rocked the Lions, particularly the way their forward pack was pushed around.

In naming his side Sunday to play the Hurricanes, Gatland indicated changes from the first Test squad were on the cards.

“We are obviously hugely disappointed with the result last night but it is important to regroup,” he said.

“We know there are a lot of players motivated to go out and get a result for the whole group. “A few players put their hands up for selection from the Chiefs game and played their way into the Test team so they know that there is another opportunity for them on Tuesday.”

Ireland’s Rory Best will captain the team against the reigning Super Rugby champions, leading the side for the second time on tour after taking the reins for the victory over the Waikato Chiefs last week.

Gatland has retained the same forward pack from that game in Hamilton while Greig Laidlaw and Dan Biggar provide continuity in the halves.

Lions (15-1): Jack Nowell (Exeter/ENG); Tommy Seymour (Glasgow/SCO), Jonathan Joseph (Bath/ENG), Robbie Henshaw (Leinster/IRL), George North (Northampton/WAL); Dan Biggar (Ospreys/WAL), Greig Laidlaw (Gloucester/SCO); CJ Stander (Munster/IRL), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys/WAL), James Haskell (Wasps/ENG); Courtney Lawes (Northampton/ENG), Iain Henderson (Ulster/IRL); Dan Cole (Leicester/ENG), Rory Best (capt, Ulster/IRL), Joe Marler (Harlequins/ENG).

Replacements: Kristian Dacey (Cardiff/WAL), Allan Dell (Edinburgh/SCO), Tomas Francis (Exeter/WAL) Cory Hill (Newport/WAL), George Kruis (Saracens/ENG), Gareth Davies (Scarlets/WAL), Finn Russell (Glasgow/SCO), Jared Payne (Ulster/IRL).

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