Lions tour: Rory Best to lead British and Irish Lions against Hurricanes in Wellington

  • 25/06/2017

Warren Gatland has challenged his British and Irish Lions midweek team to force the selectors' hands ahead of the second Test after naming a familiar-looking starting XV to face the Hurricanes.

Coach Gatland unveiled a team little changed from that which overwhelmed the Chiefs 34-6 this week.

The side for Tuesday's match in Wellington features an identical starting pack and inside back combination.

The only changes were forced by the promotion of fullback Liam Williams and winger Elliot Daly from the midweek group to the Test side beaten 30-15 by the All Blacks at Eden Park.

That pair aren't included in a reshuffled outside division to face the Hurricanes while centre Jared Payne drops to the reserves bench.

English winger Jack Nowell, who impressed on the wing against the Chiefs, starts at fullback while Tommy Seymour and George North are on the wings, and Jonathan Joseph is the new centre.

Veteran Irish hooker Rory Best is retained as captain and will lead a team with plenty to play for, Gatland said.

"We are obviously hugely disappointed with the result last night but it is important to regroup. We know there are a lot of players motivated to go out and get a result for the whole group," he said.

"A few players put their hands up for selection from the Chiefs game and played their way into the Test team so they know that there is another opportunity for them on Tuesday against the Super Rugby champions."

It is the final midweek match of the tour.

The "Tuesday team" suffered narrow losses to the Blues and Highlanders before the emphatic performance in Hamilton.

British and Irish Lions squad to face the Hurricanes. 

1. Joe Marler, 2. Rory Best (c), 3. Dan Cole, 4. Iain Henderson, 5. Courtney Lawes, 6. James Haskell, 7.  Justin Tipuric, 8.  CJ Stander, 9. Greig Laidlaw, 10. Dan Biggar, 11. George North, 12. Robbie Henshaw, 13. Jonathan Joseph, 14.  Tommy Seymour, 15. Jack Nowell

Reserves: 16. Kristian Dacey, 17. Allan Dell, 18. Tomas Francis, 19. Cory Hill, 20. George Kruis, 21. Gareth Davies, 22. Finn Russell, 23. Jared Payne

NZN