CJ Stander to make Lions debut

CJ Stander (Gallo Images)
CJ Stander (Gallo Images)

Auckland - Wales hooker Ken Owens will lead an all-new British and Irish Lions side for their second tour match against the Blues on Wednesday with the tourists looking for a step-up in performance.

Coach Warren Gatland announced a completely new side to that which scrambled to a 13-7 tour-opening win against the New Zealand Provincial Barbarians on Saturday.

Wales pair Dan Biggar and Rhys Webb will fill the crucial halves roles, with Ireland flyhalf Johnny Sexton, an unimpressive starter in Whangarei, on the bench.

South African-born CJ Stander will also make his debut for the Lions at No 8.

"We have a few work-ons from last weekend and we know we need to be more clinical," Gatland said when naming the side on Monday.  

"We created some good opportunities against the Barbarians but didn't see them through and that is something we want to improve on."

Owens was unavailable for the tour opener because of the ankle injury which also kept him out of the Scarlets' Pro12 final win against Munster last month.

But Gatland said he was fit to take over from tour captain Sam Warburton for what will be the Lions' first Test against a Super Rugby team.

"We have stated from the off that we want to give every player a start in the first three games and Wednesday is an opportunity for this set of players to show what they can do in a Lions jersey," Gatland said.

"We have made 15 changes to the starting XV and we are excited to see what this team is able to do against the Blues."

Jared Payne, a late scratching from the Barbarians because of thigh injury, will also start, partnering Ireland team-mate Robbie Henshaw in the centres.

Teams:

Blues

15 Michael Collins, 14 Matt Duffie, 13 George Moala, 12 Sonny Bill Williams/TJ Faiane, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Stephen Perofeta, 9 Augustine Pulu, 8 Steven Luatua, 7 Blake Gibson, 6 Akira Ioane, 5 Scott Scrafton, 4 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 James Parsons (captain), 1 Ofa Tu’ungafasi

Substitutes: 16 Hame Faiva, 17 Alex Hodgman, 18 Sione Mafileo, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Kara Pryor, 21 Sam Nock, 22 Ihaia West, 23 TJ Faiane/Melani Nanai

British and Irish Lions

15 Leigh Halfpenny (Wales), 14 Jack Nowell (England), 13 Jared Payne (Ireland), 12 Robbie Henshaw (Ireland), 11 Elliot Daly (England), 10 Dan Biggar (Wales), 9 Rhys Webb (Wales), 8 CJ Stander (Ireland), 7 Justin Tipuric (Wales), 6 James Haskell (England), 5 Courtney Lawes (England), 4 Maro Itoje (England), 3 Dan Cole (England), 2 Ken Owens (captain, Wales), 1 Jack McGrath (Ireland)

Substitutes: 16 Rory Best (Ireland), 17 Joe Marler (England), 18 Kyle Sinckler (England), 19 Iain Henderson (Ireland), 20 Peter O'Mahony (Ireland), 21 Greig Laidlaw (Scotland), 22 Johnny Sexton (Ireland), 23 Liam Williams (Wales)

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