Gatland to face Gatland in tour opener

Bryn Gatland (Getty)
Bryn Gatland (Getty)

Whangarei - Bryn Gatland will face his father Warren's British and Irish Lions side after being named to start at flyhalf for the New Zealand Provincial Barbarians in the tour opener in Whangarei on Saturday.

The younger Gatland could potentially face the Lions again next week if he is named in the Auckland Blues squad for their clash against the tourists at Eden Park on June 7.

After naming his own squad for the match, the Lions coach said he was looking forward to his side playing his son.

"I spoke to him last night and he has been enjoying the week," Gatland told reporters in Auckland. "He can expect to make a few tackles on the weekend.

"He's pretty excited about the opportunity ... and I am looking forward to see how he goes."

The Barbarians are made up of players from New Zealand's semi-professional provincial competition but several have Super Rugby experience.

It is the only game on the 10-match tour where the Lions do not face a fully professional team.

The Barbarians only assembled last Sunday before relocating to Whangarei.

"When we first looked at putting together a squad, the initial process was around understanding what sort of game we wanted to play and the type of player that would meet the profile of that game plan," coach Clayton McMillan said in a statement.

"It's always going to be pretty hard when you are bringing a group together from four corners of New Zealand but from what I can see and the feedback we've got, the boys have come together really well."

Otago hooker Sam Anderson-Heather will lead the side that includes veteran centre Dwayne Sweeney, who played six seasons for twice Super Rugby champions Chiefs and also appeared for the Maori All Blacks.

Teams:

Lions

15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Anthony Watson, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Ben Te’o, 11 Tommy Seymour, 10 Johnny Sexton, 9 Greig Laidlaw, 8 Taulupe Faletau, 7 Sam Warburton (captain), 6 Ross Moriarty, 5 Iain Henderson, 4 Alun Wyn Jones, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Rory Best, 1 Joe Marler

Substitutes: 16 Jamie George, 17 Mako Vunipola, 18 Tadgh Furlong, 19 George Kruis, 20 Justin Tipuric, 21 Rhys Webb, 22 Owen Farrell, 23 Jared Payne

Provincial Barbarians XV 

15 Luteru Laulala, 14 Sam Vaka, 13 Inga Finau, 12 Dwayne Sweeney, 11 Sevu Reece, 10 Bryn Gatland, 9 Jack Stratton, 8 Mitchell Dunshea, 7 Lachlan Boshier, 6 James Tucker, 5 Keepa Mewett, 4 Josh Goodhue, 3 Oliver Jager, 2 Sam Anderson-Heather (captain), 1 Aidan Ross

Substitutes: 16 Andrew Makalio, 17 Tolu Fahamokoia, 18 Marcel Renata, 19 Matt Matich, 20 Peter Rowe, 21 Richard Judd, 22 Jonah Lowe, 23 Junior Ngaluafe

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