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Lions tour: North fit for Saturday's Australia Test

Rob Howley says North's fit to play. Credit: David Davies/PA Wire

British and Irish Lions winger George North has been passed fit for Saturday's first Test against Australia after recovering from his hamstring problem.

North was a doubt for the series opener at Suncorp Stadium after sustaining the injury a week ago, but assistant coach Rob Howley says he has fully recovered.

"George came through a fitness test this morning and I've never seen him in better shape. He'll be available and that's a big boost for us,"

Lions take on Western Force

K.O. is at 11am. Credit: AAP/AAP/Press Association Images

The British and Irish Lions today play their first game of this tour on Australian soil, as they take on Western Force.

Injured Captain Sam Warburton's role is taken over by Ireland's Brian O'Driscoll.

There are four Welsh players in today's starting line-up with Toby Faletau on the bench.

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Lions team named

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Lions vs Barbarians - Hogg, Cuthbert, Davies, Roberts, Maitland, Farrell, Phillips, Vunipola, Hibbard, A Jones, Gray, O'Connell (c). contd..

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Lions vs Barbarians - contd - Lydiate, Tuperic, Faletau. Reps-T.Youngs, Healy, Stevens, Wyn Jones, Heaslip, Murray, Sexton, North.#LionsTour

Lions 2013: Twitter reaction

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Congratulations @samwarburton_ and all your fellow team mates on selection for this year's #lionstour

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Congratulations to all the Welsh boys going to Australia! Special mention to my constituents @adamjones3 and @dan_lydiate #lionstour

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Gatland: "I'd love to be involved with the Lions"

Warren Gatland, alongside WRU Chief Executive Roger Lewis, at the Senedd last night.

Wales coach Warren Gatland has told ITV Wales that he'd welcome the chance to coach the British & Irish Lions.

Gatland is seen as the favourite to be named head coach for the three-test trip in 2013.

"It's all up in the air the moment. I've had discussions before the Six Nations, but nothing formal since" he said.

"I'd love to be involved in some form with the Lions. It's a great honour.

"I actually think it'd be good if I wasn't involved in one of the [Wales] campaigns going forward - really good for the development of one of the younger coaches taking the team for a campaign."

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