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Warburton to captain Lions for Queensland Reds match

North and Halfpenny to start for Lions tour

George North and Leigh Halfpenny are given their first starts of the Lions tour. Credit: PA

Four Wales players have been handed the chance to stake their claim for a place in Warren Gatland's test XV for Wednesday's warm-up clash with Western Force in Perth. There is still no place for injured captain Sam Warburton who is continuing his recovery from a knee problem.

George North and Leigh Halfpenny have been given their first starts of the tour while Alun Wyn Jones and Ian Evans make up and all-Welsh second row alongside England's Tom Croft and Irish pair Sean O'Brien and Jami Heaslip.

Coach Warren Gatland has opted for a completely fresh starting line-up after Saturday's 8-59 win in searing temperatures in the opening game of the three-test tour.

Toby Faletau is the only other Welsh addition, starting on the bench.


Lions 'raring to go' - Gatland

I am really excited by the first selection of the tour. Naturally it comprises largely those players not involved in last weekend’s Aviva Premiership and RaboDirect PRO12 finals and we have a lot of players making their debuts for the Lions. At the same time we have a hard core of experience with the six former Lions sharing 430 caps between them and 19 Lions Tests.

There are also some proven combinations such as the Welsh centre pairing and backrow. Some of the boys who played last weekend are on the bench as cover and generally everyone in the camp is raring to go.

– Warren Gatland, British and Irish Lions Squad

Welshmen dominate the Lions line-up

British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland has named his team to face the Barbarians in Hong Kong on Saturday. A total of 11 Welshmen are in the 23 man squad, but Ireland's Paul O'Connell has taken on the captaincy after Sam Warburton was sidelined by a knee injury.

The starting line up includes Alex Cuthbert, Jonathan Davies, Jamie Roberts, Mike Phillips, Richard Hibbard, Adam Jones, Dan Lydiate, Justin Tipuric and Toby Faletau. George North and Alun Wyn Jones are on the bench.

Lions team named

Warburton could miss Lions opener

British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland and Sam Warburton arrive to speak during a press conference in Dublin recently. Credit: PA

Wales flanker Sam Warburton, the Lions' fifth-youngest skipper, could miss out on Saturday's opener against the Barbarians due to a puffy knee.

Lions head coach Warren Gatland will tomorrow announce a starting line-up dominated by Wales players prior to nine games in Australia.

The match-day 23 on Saturday is set to comprise those players involved at training camps in Wales and Ireland during the past fortnight.

More than a dozen more who featured in last Saturday's play-off finals will gain their opportunities against Western Force and Queensland Reds next week.


British and Irish Lions squad land in Hong Kong

Sam Warburton greets some fans in Hong Kong Credit: Twitter picture @lionsofficial

The British and Irish Lions squad have landed in Hong Kong, according to their official twitter page.

The team take on the Barbarians on Saturday in the first leg of their summer tour.

The Lions take on the Barbarians on Saturday Credit: Twitter picture @lionsofficial
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