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Warburton benched as four Welsh players make Lions XV

Credit: PA

Lions tour captain Sam Warburton will have to settle for a place on the bench as the British and Irish Lions unveil their team to take on New Zealand in the first test on Saturday.

Irish flanker Peter O'Mahony will captain the side for their Eden Park clash.

It the first time a tour captain has not led the Lions in an opening Test since England's Doug Prentice missed out in 1930.

Liam Williams starts at fullback at the expense of Leigh Halfpenny who has earned a spot on the bench.

Jonathan Davies, Alun Wyn Jones and Taulupe Faletau have also been handed places in the starting XV, with Ken Owen, Rhys Webb and tour captain Sam Warburton joining Halfpenny on the bench.

Lions: Liam Williams, Anthony Watson, Jonathan Davies, Ben Te’o, Elliot Daly, Owen Farrell, Conor Murray, Mako Vunipola, Jamie George, Tadhg Furlong, Alun Wyn Jones, George Kruis, Peter O’Mahony (c), Sean O’Brien, Taulupe Faletau

Replacements: Ken Owens, Jack McGrath, Kyle Sinckler, Maro Itoje, Sam Warburton, Rhys Webb, Jonathan Sexton, Leigh Halfpenny

We have picked a side based on form with a lot of players putting their hands up, especially from the Crusaders and Maori All Blacks games, and it was a lively selection meeting. The win against the Chiefs was also extremely important for the squad and some players played themselves into the side. We have continuously been strong at set piece and have been good defensively in the last two or three outings. But to beat the All Blacks you have to be courageous and play some rugby - you have to score tries and I think we have picked a team capable of doing that.

– Warren Gatland, Lions Head Coach

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New Lions call-ups on bench for Chiefs game

Alun Wyn Jones is also on the bench for Tuesday's game Credit: PA photo

All four Welsh players summoned into the Lions' squad this weekend have been named on the bench for Tuesday's match against Waikato Chiefs.

Hooker Kristian Dacey, prop Tomas Francis, second row Cory Hill and scrum half Gareth Davies linked up with the party following Wales' 24-6 win over Tonga on Friday.

Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones is also among the replacements for game in Hamilton, while Liam Williams - selected at full back - Dan Biggar and Justin Tipuric are in the starting fifteen.

Tuesday's game at FMG Stadium Waikato is the Lions' last outing before Saturday's first test. Warren Gatland's men have yet to win a midweek match on tour.

  • 15. Liam Williams
  • 14. Jack Nowell
  • 13. Jared Payne
  • 12. Robbie Henshaw
  • 11. Elliot Daly
  • 10. Dan Biggar
  • 9. Greig Laidlaw
  • 1. Joe Marler
  • 2. Rory Best (c)
  • 3. Dan Cole
  • 4. Iain Henderson
  • 5. Courtney Lawes
  • 6. James Haskell
  • 7. Justin Tipuric
  • 8. CJ Stander
  • Replacements: 16. Kristian Dacey 17. Allan Dell 18. Tomas Francis 19. Cory Hill 20. Alun Wyn Jones 21. Gareth Davies 22. Finn Russell 23. Tommy Seymour

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