Lions tour: Warren Gatland still summing up Test match options with Maori selections

Warren Gatland has named his team for Saturday's match against the Maori All Blacks and sprung a few surprises in the process.

The expectation was for a near Test-strength lineup to run out against the team, but Gatland's selections would suggest he has yet to decide on his number one XV.

Tour captain Sam Warburton will come off the bench, with the side to be led by Irish flanker Peter O'Mahony.

"It's a huge honour to play for the Lions let alone captain them is really special," O'Mahony said.

"This tour is all about learning lessons, taking positives where you can and building on them."

Eleven players from the side which beat the Crusaders will face the Maori All Blacks.

The real head-scratcher was Johnny Sexton, who has been given  the chance to prove he is the sides best choice first-five-eight option, over the in-form England pivot, Owen Farrell.

"Johnny needs more rugby and he was really good coming off the bench the other day," said Gatland.

"He knows he hasn't been playing the best but he's got some mojo back and we wanted to give him the start."

Farrell is widely expected to be Lions first choice first five, and with just two games to-go until the first Test, this is something of a curve ball from coaching staff considering Farrell has only started once so far on tour.

With the Irish playmaker having struggled in New Zealand, it is a clear indicator that the coach is looking to instil confidence back into the 31-year-old, confidence both Sexton and the Lions desperately need.

Newshub. 

Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to Email
Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to Viber Share to WhatsApp Share to Email