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North misses out on Lions Test

George North will sit out the first Test. Credit: PA

George North has been left out of the British and Irish Lions squad for Saturday's first Test against New Zealand.

The Northampton Saints star had been widely expected to start on the wing against the All Blacks, but Warren Gatland has opted for Wasps' Elliot Daly instead.

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Saints teammate Courtney Lawes will also have to settle for a watching brief, while the team will be captained by Ireland's Peter O'Mahoney.

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Lawes impresses but British & Irish Lions suffer defeat

Lawes leaves the pitch with Johnny Sexton. Credit: PA
  • Blues 22-16 British and Irish Lions

Northampton Saints forward Courtney Lawes enjoyed an impressive debut for the British and Irish Lions, but couldn't prevent them from losing to the Blues in Auckland.

A late Ihaia West try condemned the Lions to their first defeat of this summer's New Zealand tour as they fell way short of their best at Eden Park.

Warren Gatland's side had looked on course to scrape a narrow victory courtesy of Leigh Halfpenny's boot, but West crossed the line with just five minutes remaining to win the match for the Super Rugby side.

Lawes was one of the players to emerge with plaudits though thanks to a series of bone-crunching tackles and his partnership with England colleague Maro Itoje in the second row.

The loss will come as a big blow to the Lions who were up against a Blues team who are currently bottom of the New Zealand Super Rugby conference.

They will face another step up in class on Saturday when they face the unbeaten Crusaders in Christchurch.

Courtney Lawes: Northampton star handed first Lions start

Courtney Lawes will start against the Blues. Credit: PA

Northampton Saints second row Courtney Lawes will make his debut for the British and Irish Lions in Wednesday's tour match against the Blues.

The 28-year-old is one of 15 changes from the side that stuttered past the Provincial Barbarians.

Lawes' Saints teammate George North won't feature in the match in Auckland, but should face the Crusaders on Saturday.

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