Stander to debut for Lions

CJ Stander will start at No 8 for a new-look British & Irish Lions team against the Blues at Eden Park on Wednesday.

Coach Warren Gatland has made 15 changes to the starting XV that beat the New Zealand Provincial Barbarians 13-7 over the weekend.

WATCH: Highlights of Lions vs NZ Provincial Barbarians

Wales hooker Ken Owens, who is one of 11 players making their Lions debut, will captain the team.

The starting lineup includes eight players each from England and Ireland, six from Wales and one from Scotland.

FEATURE: Stander has heart of a Lion

'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,' said Gatland.

'In terms of Ken, he has worked really hard on his recovery and its great to have him available. He has captained the Scarlets and has assumed a leadership role within the camp and it is a great opportunity for him.

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

Lions – 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Jared Payne, 12 Robbie Henshaw, 11 Elliot Daly, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Rhys Webb, 8 CJ Stander, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 James Haskell, 5 Courtney Lawes, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Jack McGrath.
Subs: 16 Rory Best, 17 Joe Marler, 18 Iain Henderson, 19 Peter O'Mahony, 20 Greig Laidlaw, 21 Johnny Sexton, 23 Liam Williams.

Blues team to play Lions

Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Getty Images

Post by

Mariette Adams