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Lions unleash Lawes on the Blues

Travis PerkinsSponsored by Travis Perkins

Courtney Lawes will make his British and Irish Lions debut when he starts Wednesday's meeting with the Blues in Auckland.

The Saints second row is one of 11 debutants as Warren Gatland makes a complete change to the starting line-up that scraped past the Provincial Barbarians over the weekend.

“We have made 15 changes to the starting XV and we are excited to see what this team is able to do against the Blues," head coach Gatland commented.

“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.

“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."

BRITISH & IRISH LIONS SIDE TO PLAY BLUES
Eden Park
Wednesday, June 7th, 2017
Kick off 8:35am (UK)

15 Leigh Halfpenny (Toulon, Wales)
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)
1 Jack McGrath (Leinster, Ireland)
2 Ken Owens (capt)(Scarlets, Wales)
3 Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, England)
4 Maro Itoje (Saracens, England)
5 Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, England)
6 James Haskell (Wasps, England)
7 Justin Tipuric (Ospreys, Wales)
8 CJ Stander (Munster, Ireland)

16 Rory Best (Ulster, Ireland)
17 Joe Marler (Harlequins, England)
18 Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins, England)
19 Iain Henderson (Ulster, Ireland)
20 Peter O’Mahony (Munster, Ireland)
21 Greig Laidlaw (Gloucester, Scotland)
22 Johnny Sexton (Leinster, Ireland)
23 Liam Williams (Scarlets, Wales)