29 Jun 2017

Warburton gets the call up

1:00 pm on 29 June 2017

British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland has made a raft of changes to his side to face the All Blacks in the must-win second test in Wellington on Saturday.

Lions coach Warren Gatland and captain Sam Warburton

Lions coach Warren Gatland and captain Sam Warburton Photo: Photosport

Gatland has promoted his tour captain, Sam Warburton, to the starting side at blindside flanker after leaving him on the bench in the first test against the All Blacks in Auckland.

Lock Maro Itoje has also been promoted to the starting XV alongside Welsh big man Alun Wyn Jones. Fellow second rower Courtney Lawes has been included on the bench after a strong performance against the Hurricanes on Tuesday.

In the back line, Irish first five Johnny Sexton will start in the number 10 jersey, forcing Owen Farrell, who started at 10 in the first test, to second five.

The change at first and second five means Ben Te'o moves to the bench despite putting in an impressive performance against his opposite, Sonny Bill Williams, in the first test.

Joining Te'o and Lawes on the bench are South African born Irish back rower, CJ Stander, and outside back, Jack Nowell, who both impressed Gatland enough in their midweek hitout against the Hurricanes to be promoted to the test side.

The British and Irish Lions lost the first test against the All Blacks in Auckland 30-15 and must win Saturday's match at Wellington stadium to have a chance at winning the three-test series.

British & Irish Lions side to face New Zealand in the second test:

15. Liam Williams - Scarlets, Wales, #833

14. Anthony Watson - Bath Rugby, England, #816

13. Jonathan Davies - Scarlets, Wales, #778

12. Owen Farrell - Saracens, England, #780

11. Elliot Daly - Wasps, England, #822

10. Johnny Sexton - Leinster, Ireland, #791

9. Conor Murray - Munster, Ireland, #790

1. Mako Vunipola - Saracens, England, #787

2. Jamie George - Saracens, England, #819

3. Tadhg Furlong - Leinster, Ireland, #818

4. Maro Itoje - Saracens, England, #825

5. Alun Wyn Jones - Ospreys, Wales, #761

6. Sam Warburton (capt) - Cardiff Blues, Wales, #800

7. Sean O'Brien - Leinster, Ireland, #796

8. Taulupe Faletau - Bath Rugby, Wales, #779


16. Ken Owens - Scarlets, Wales, #829

17. Jack McGrath - Leinster, Ireland, #827

18. Kyle Sinckler - Harlequins, England, #814

19. Courtney Lawes - Northampton Saints, England, #826

20. CJ Stander - Munster, Ireland, #831

21. Rhys Webb - Ospreys, Wales, #820

22. Ben Te'o - Worcester Warriors, England, #815

23. Jack Nowell - Exeter Chiefs, England, #828