Warren Gatland and Sam Warburton in Lions talk

Warren Gatland today put Sam Warburton’s statement about the side announcement for their first game of their New Zealand tour to bed.

Warburton claimed that the side would be chosen on Wednesday night, but his boss for the tour has put these claims aside, stating to The Independent; “We named the team to the players a week ago, so they’ve done a pretty good job of keeping it quiet for a week,”

Although the Lions have some true potential in the squad for this years tour, Gatland went on to say; “I just think the selections almost happen by mistake, they happened to be the players who were available in the first couple of weeks” so it will be interesting to see how his first side will perform against the Provincial Barbarians.

Even though the ex All Black has put Saturday’s side together based on availability rather than competition in some positions, he reassured Lions followers that they are not to worry about the quality of play in their first fixture, going on to say; “We’re pretty excited about the potential and possibility for a lot of combinations.”

Out of those available in Gatland’s 41 man squad this weekend, who should he pick for the opening fixture?