O’Mahony to lead Lions into battle

Ireland flank Peter O’Mahony will captain the British & Irish Lions against the All Blacks in the first Test in Auckland on Saturday.

As expected, tour skipper Sam Warburton has been named on the bench.

In other notable selections, Liam Williams will start at fullback ahead of Leigh Halfpenny, Elliot Daly is on the left wing instead of George North, Owen Farrell is preferred to Johnny Sexton at flyhalf, and Alun Wyn Jones relegates Maro Itoje to the bench.

There are seven Test Lions in the starting XV and three on the bench.

'We have picked a side based on form with a lot of players putting their hands up, especially from the Crusaders and Maori All Blacks games, and it was a lively selection meeting,' said Lions coach Warren Gatland.

'The win against the Chiefs was also extremely important for the squad, and some players [Williams and Daly] played themselves into the side.

'We have continuously been strong at set piece and have been good defensively in the last two or three outings. But 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.'

British & Irish Lions – 15 Liam Williams, 14 Anthony Watson, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Ben Te’o, 11 Elliot Daly, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Taulupe Faletau, 7 Sean O’Brien, 6 Peter O’Mahony (c), 5 George Kruis, 4 Alun Wyn Jones, 3 Tadgh Furlong, 2 Jamie George, 1 Mako Vunipola.
Subs: 16 Ken Owens, 17 Jack McGrath, 18 Kyle Sinckler, 19 Maro Itoje, 20 Sam Warburton, 21 Rhys Webb, 22 Johnny Sexton, 23 Leigh Halfpenny.

All Blacks team

Photo: David Rogers/Getty Images

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