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Warburton to lead Lions against Highlanders

Sam Warburton has beaten his ankle injury to be fit to captain the Lions. Credit: PA

Sam Warburton has beaten his ankle injury and will captain the British and Irish Lions against the Highlanders on Tuesday, the team have announced.

The Wales flanker missed the 12-3 win over the Crusaders but has made a full recovery - and now has the chance to prove his form and fitness for the first All Blacks Test on June 24.

Ireland's Jared Payne has shaken off a calf issue to start at full-back, while Wales' Dan Biggar has beaten a head injury to feature at fly-half.

British and Irish Lions team to face the Highlanders on Tuesday:

J Payne (Ireland), J Nowell, J Joseph (both England), R Henshaw (Ireland), T Seymour (Scotland), D Biggar, R Webb (both Wales), J Marler (England), R Best (Ireland), K Sinckler, C Lawes (both England), I Henderson (Ireland), J Haskell (England), S Warburton (Wales, capt), CJ Stander (Ireland).

Replacements: K Owens (Wales), J McGrath (Ireland), D Cole (England), A W Jones, J Tipuric (both Wales), G Laidlaw (Scotland), O Farrell, E Daly (both England).


We wanted to avoid England, says France coach

Guy Noves has classed England alongside New Zealand. Credit: PA

France head coach Guy Noves has classed England alongside New Zealand by admitting they were the two teams everyone wanted to miss in the Rugby World Cup draw.

Unfortunately for France and Noves, Eddie Jones' back-to-back RBS 6 Nations champions landed alongside Les Bleus in Pool C for the 2019 tournament.

With Argentina also in the same section along with qualifiers from the Americas and Oceania, it promises to be a challenging pool for all teams involved, with two places for the quarter-finals on offer.

Noves looked to paint a positive picture of France's draw, but he made it clear England were a side he would rather not have been pitted against.

"We were eagerly looking forward to this draw," Noves said.

"Our pool is very balanced and will allow us to have tough matches from the start of the tournament.

"England were, with New Zealand, the scarecrow that everyone wanted to avoid.

"We've got them in our pool. We're aware the match against Argentina is going to be decisive. We competed with them last year, as we did against England this year."

Harlequins confident Care will be fit for England tour

Care has been ruled out of Saturday's finale to the Aviva Premiership season at Northampton. Credit: PA

Harlequins are confident that Danny Care will recover from his stomach muscle injury in time for England's tour to Argentina.

Care has been ruled out of Saturday's finale to the Aviva Premiership season at Northampton because of an oblique problem sustained against Wasps eight days earlier.

The Quins captain lasted only 24 minutes against the league leaders before being replaced, but he should be fit in time to face the Pumas over two Tests next month.

"Danny is expected to make a full recovery ahead of England's tour to Argentina," a club statement read.

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