The All Blacks host the Lions for the second test out of three this weekend, and both bosses have named their sides.
It has been confirmed that captain Sam Warburton has returned to the starting line up after missing the game against the Hurricanes on Tuesday. Last weeks captain O’Mahony has been left out of the 23 all together. Ben Te’o, one of the top performers from last week has been dropped to the bench for Jonny Sexton.
Maro Itoje has a starting place in the team ahead of his England compatriot George Kruis. Alun Wyn-Jones has somehow managed to keep his place ahead of Tuesday’s star performers, Henderson and Lawes. Lions boss Gatland praised Itoje alongside captain Sam Warburton, stating; “We saw Maro Itoje’s impact in the first Test and he will bring an edge and a physicality, as will Sam Warburton in terms of pressure on the ball,”.
He went on to say that his choices in terms of players missing from the first test was down to giving them a chance to show what they can do against the world number ones, after their disappointment on missing their chance in the first test.
We will see if the second test side can do any better on Saturday, with kick off at 8.35am, and coverage starting on Sky Sports from 8am.
Here is what the sides look like:
Starting XV: Israel Dagg, Waisake Naholo, Anton Lienert-Brown, Sonny Bill Williams, Rieko Ioane, Beauden Barrett, Aaron Smith, Joe Moody, Codie Taylor, Owen Franks, Brodie Retallick, Samuel Whitelock, Jerome Kaino, Sam Cane, Kieran Read (C).
Replacements: Nathan Harris, Wyatt Crockett, Charlie Faumuina, Scott Barrett, Ardie Savea. TJ Perenara, Aaron Cruden, Ngani Laumape
Starting XV: L Williams (Wales), A Watson (England), J Davies (Wales), O Farrell, E Daly (both England), J Sexton, C Murray (both Ireland), M Vunipola, J George (both England), T Furlong (Ireland), M Itoje (England), AW Jones (Wales), S Warburton(C) (Wales), S O’Brien (Ireland), T Faletau (Wales)
Replacements: K Owens (Wales), J McGrath (Ireland), K Sinckler, C Lawes (both England), CJ Stander (Ireland), R Webb (Wales), B Te’o (England), J Nowell (England)