Four Irish among Lions team to face All Blacks in first Test

Four Irish among Lions team to face All Blacks in first Test

MUNSTER flanker Peter O’Mahony will captain The British & Irish Lions against New Zealand in the team's first Test this Saturday.

O'Mahony is joined by three other Irish players in the starting 15, including Leinster prop Tadhg Furlong, Leinster flanker Sean O'Brien and Munster scrum-half Conor Murray.

Leinster out-half Johnny Sexton is on the replacement bench alongside Leinster prop Jack McGrath.

O’Mahony, the 11th Irish Lions Test captain in history, will lead his side at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand this Saturday at 8.35am BST.

“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 Head Coach Warren Gatland.

“The win against the Chiefs was also extremely important for the squad and some players 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.”

The starting 15 includes seven players who have played for the Lions on previous tours.

Lions Test 1 starting 15...

15. Liam Williams – Scarlets, Wales
14. Anthony Watson – Bath Rugby, England
13. Jonathan Davies – Scarlets, Wales
12. Ben Te’o – Worcester Warriors, England
11. Elliot Daly – Wasps, England
10. Owen Farrell – Saracens, England
9. Conor Murray – Munster, Ireland

1. Mako Vunipola – Saracens, England
2. Jamie George – Saracens, England
3. Tadhg Furlong – Leinster, Ireland
4. Alun Wyn Jones – Ospreys, Wales
5. George Kruis – Saracens, England
6. Peter O’Mahony (capt) – Munster, Ireland
7. Sean O’Brien – Leinster, Ireland
8. Taulupe Faletau – Bath Rugby, Wales

16. Ken Owens – Scarlets, Wales
17. Jack McGrath – Leinster, Ireland
18. Kyle Sinckler – Harlequins, England
19. Maro Itoje – Saracens, England
20. Sam Warburton – Cardiff Blues, Wales
21. Rhys Webb – Ospreys, Wales
22. Johnny Sexton – Leinster, Ireland
23. Leigh Halfpenny – Toulon, Wales