Warburton not guaranteed starting spot - Gatland

Warburton not guaranteed starting spot - Gatland

Warburton not guaranteed starting spot - Gatland

The lineup Gatland named to face the Maori was close to his test lineup and only three of those players - lock Iain Henderson, winger Elliot Daly and scrumhalf Greig Laidlaw who also started from the bench on Saturday - have been named to back up against the Chiefs. Gatland will hope to see that continue against the Chiefs.

"They are all Test match players", Laidlaw said of the Lions' six new additions.

Gatland has clearly divided his squad into test and midweek lineups and it was for that reason he called on six players - four from Wales and two from Scotland who are now playing in the South Pacific - to bring up his current complement to a full 46 players, the equivalent of two match-day 23s. The larger squad should keep to a minimum the number of players having to play twice in a week.

Meanwhile, England coach Eddie Jones hailed his Test veterans and worldwide rookies Sunday after a 2-0 Test series triumph in Argentina achieved without many unavailable stars.

"They dominated up front in the scrum, the line-out was very effective and when players like Ken and Jack McGrath came on they kept the dominance".

"I can understand why Warren Gatland has done what he has", McGeechan said.

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Despite that decision, Gatland has refused to accept he had split the touring party into a "midweek" and "test" team.

"But why not call up the players who just missed out on selection in the first place?"

"The amount of support that I've had personally has just been fantastic and I experienced that in the World Cup here in 2011, the amount of Waikato people who supported Wales when we played here against Fiji and Samoa was incredible".

Gatland was born and spent his formative years in Waikato, on New Zealand's north island.

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Gatland believes the Lions have been denied a number of try-scoring opportunities because of subtle blocking lines, especially against the Maori.

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Gatland instead complained about illegal blocking tactics by New Zealand teams.

"It makes it hard to complete attacking opportunities and situations.we've raised it with the referees already".

But Lions boss Warren Gatland says the influential Farrell will be ready to go. "It makes it hard to complete attacking opportunities".

"They arranged a pretty quick game against Samoa and if you saw the first 20-30 minutes, they needed that".

Then the Lions squeezed the life out of a talented Maori side, who possibly did not help themselves by shifting Damien McKenzie and James Lowe to less familiar and more ill-fitting out-half and full-back roles.

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