Peter O'Mahony to lead Lions against Maori side with Warburton benched

Liam Messam Maori All Blacks are band of brothers bound by blood

The British and Irish Lions have named their fourth different captain of their New Zealand tour.

Jonathan Davies must prove his fitness in training today to be able to stake a British and Irish Lions Test match claim in Saturday's Maori clash.

The Crusaders were the victims of larceny in the Lions game when referee Mathieu Raynal awarded four scrum penalties against them when they had a vastly superior scrum in that match.

"We believe it's a team that can challenge the All Blacks", Ieremia said this week.

McKenzie, who played two tests for the All Blacks past year, was surprisingly overlooked for Steve Hansen's main test squad for the Lions series starting June 24.

"We have got to make sure we are better in those moments because that is sometimes the difference between winning and losing games".

The Lions knew that they had to bring the same intensity into this contest that they did when they beat the Crusaders at the weekend.

The Dunedin-based Highlanders, lacking nine frontline players, set out to play the match at a frenzied pace and the Lions resistance to that style was fully tested. If Gatland were to gamble and start with Farrell in the side, don't be surprised to see Halfpenny taking the shots at goal to reduce the stress on Farrell's injured thigh muscle, but for the England half-back general, that first Test must feel a long way off right now.


France are likely to be better in the second test, so we will wait and see, but this was a very good start.

The Lions were unable to stay with it in a game of high tempo; surprisingly, they tried to engage, which suited the Highlanders down to the ground.

"Potentially they might be missing a couple of X factor players". There were flashes of real attacking intent from the Lions, but all too often a bad pass or mistimed offload would turn the ball over. From what I gather, he wouldn't be the most inspiring of blokes.

O'Mahony is the captain of Munster at club level, and Gatland backed him to rise to the occasion in the red shirt against a fearsome Maori opponent.

If that is the case, then the New Zealander will clearly be looking to dominate the hosts physically in midfield after naming Jonathan Davies and Ben Te'o in the centres.

"We watched how the Lions have been playing, they just keep coming wave after wave and the boys were just outstanding getting up and tackling and throwing their bodies into it".

All Blacks winger Waisake Naholo and hooker Coltman scored the home team's tries in a tight match that was locked 10-10 at halftime. But the Farrell injury will hover over the entire build-up to the test series, the Beckham 2002 World Cup metatarsal.

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