Impregnable fortress Eden Park a test for Lions

The injury-hit Warburton has struggled for form in warm-up matches, while O'Mahony's commitment was impressive as he captained the Lions to a 32-10 win over the Maori All Blacks last week. New Zealand are back to back World Champions.

The Test is to take place at Eden Park in Auckland, where the All Blacks are undefeated in 23 years.

"We've strangled a couple of sides and we're not going to deny that's been successful but we've also got to have the ability to play".

O'Mahony will lead the team into Saturday's first Test with the words of mentor Axel Foley ringing in his ears: be yourself.

"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", he said.

England's Owen Farrell has recovered from a leg injury to start at flyhalf in the team named on Thursday by head coach Warren Gatland.

They have both named teams that contain surprises - Liam Williams in at full-back for the Lions instead of Leigh Halfpenny, rookie Rieko Ioane for Julian Savea (46 tries in 53 Tests) - but these were choices based on form, an indication the two teams are reacting to the mood of the moment, buoyant and self-assured. I think he will put them under pressure off the bench.

"He's a Martin Johnson-type player", said his former Ireland and Munster team-mate.

Jones is due to arrive in New Zealand ahead of the second Test to cast his eye on how his England players are getting on, although there have been regular checks from the Australian with texts sent "here and there" to the players as well as communication with England coach Steve Borthwick, who is part of Gatland's coaching staff.

Читайте также: Paris police van attack: Four family members of assailant detained

It is the second successive tour that Gatland has shown no sentimentality towards players in order to win the test series.

But he also vowed not to let his players be goaded into deserting the suffocating tactics that have underpinned their potent wins over the Crusaders, Maori All Blacks and Chiefs.

Warren Gatland has called for an end to any "trash talking" heading into the British and Irish Lions' first Test against New Zealand.

"We have continuously been strong at set piece and have been good defensively in the last two or three outings", he said.

"It's a wasted emotion because if the thing you're worrying about has happened, you need to fix it so there's no point worrying about it".

"It gives us a 1-2-3 punch", he added.

"We'll see how good the plan is when we get out there on Saturday night but it would be very foolish to believe they're not going to bring some line speed".

Elsewhere, a pair of injured Crusaders return, with Kieran Read captaining the All Blacks side from number eight, while Ryan Crotty will link up with Sonny Bill Williams in the midfield.

All Blacks captain Kieran Read has returned to the starting team after nearly eight weeks out with a broken thumb, while winger Rieko Ioane was the only surprise selection for the world champions, replacing Julian Savea on the left wing.

При любом использовании материалов сайта и дочерних проектов, гиперссылка на обязательна.
«» 2007 - 2018 Copyright.
Автоматизированное извлечение информации сайта запрещено.

Код для вставки в блог

Related news