5 Jun 2017

Lions make 15 changes for Blues clash

5:18 pm on 5 June 2017

The British & Irish Lions team to play the Blues on Wednesday has been announced with Wales hooker Ken Owens captaining the side.

British and Irish Lions Player Ken Owens.

British and Irish Lions Player Ken Owens. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Coach Warren Gatland has made 15 changes to the side, which struggled its way to a win over the Provinsial Barbarians on Saturdaynight.

Eleven players including Owens will make their British and Irish Lions debut at Eden Park.

Gatland said he is excited to see what the new team will be able to do against The Blues.

"We have stated from the off that we want to give every player a start in the first three games and Wednesday is an opportunity for this set of players to show what they can do in a Lions jersey.

"It was good to get the win under our belts last weekend. The boys in the stand were itching to get their chance and they are really excited about Wednesday," Gatland said.

He said Ken Owens has worked really hard on his recovery in order to assume a leadership role within the camp.

"We are expecting a big crowd at Eden Park. It will be the first of three matches there for us and we know the atmosphere will be outstanding. We are hoping for some good weather and are expecting a tough, fast and open game of rugby.

"We have a few work ons from last weekend and we know we need to be more clinical. We created some good opportunities against the Barbarians but didn't see them through and that is something we want to improve on," Gatland said.


15. Leigh Halfpenny - Toulon, Wales, #775

14. Jack Nowell - Exeter Chiefs, England

13. Jared Payne - Ulster, Ireland

12. Robbie Henshaw - Leinster, Ireland

11. Elliot Daly - Wasps, England

10. Dan Biggar - Ospreys, Wales

9. Rhys Webb - Ospreys, Wales, #820

1. Jack McGrath - Leinster, Ireland

2. Ken Owens (Capt) - Scarlets, Wales

3. Dan Cole Leicester Tigers, England, #794

4. Maro Itoje - Saracens, England

5. Courtney Lawes - Northampton Saints, England

6. James Haskell - Wasps, England

7. Justin Tipuric - Ospreys, Wales,#786

8. CJ Stander - Munster, Ireland


16. Rory Best - Ulster, Ireland, #793

17. Joe Marler - Harlequins, England, #811

18. Kyle Sinckler - Harlequins, England, #814

19. Iain Henderson - Ulster, Ireland, #808

20. Peter O'Mahony - Munster, Ireland

21. Greig Laidlaw - Gloucester, Scotland, #810

22. Johnny Sexton - Leinster, Ireland, #791

23. Liam Williams - Scarlets, Wales