Lions unchanged for series decider

Coach Warren Gatland right captain Sam Warburton (Getty)
Coach Warren Gatland right captain Sam Warburton (Getty)

Cape Town - The British & Irish Lions have named an unchanged squad for their series decider against New Zealand at Eden Park on Saturday.

Kick-off is at 09:35 SA time.

Sam Warburton will again lead the 23 who secured victory in the second Test in Wellington - the first time since 1993 that the Lions have kept the same XV for consecutive Tests.

Head coach Warren Gatland said: “It is not very often on a Lions Tour that you get to pick the same 23 for the following game.

“We felt we should reward the players for the result and the courage that they showed in coming from behind from 18-9 down, digging themselves out of a hole and then finishing strongly in that last 10 to 15 minutes.

“There are some players who are pretty disappointed not to be selected and I understand that. It is what you would expect from competitive top athletes, they back themselves. But we have stressed all along that this is not all about the 23 players but about everyone in the squad - they have put their disappointment behind them and are helping the match day squad prepare the best they can for the Test match.

Teams

New Zealand

15 Jordie Barrett; 14 Israel Dagg, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Julian Savea; 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith; 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Jerome Kaino; 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick; 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody.

Substitutes: Nathan Harris, Wyatt Crockett, Charlie Faumuina, Scott Barrett, Ardie Savea, TJ Perenara, Aaron Cruden, Malakai Fekitoa

British and Irish Lions

15 Liam Williams (Scarlets/WAL), 14 Anthony Watson (Bath/ENG), 13 Jonathan Davies (Scarlets/WAL), 12 Owen Farrell (Saracens/ENG), 11 Elliot Daly (Wasps/ENG), 10 Johnny Sexton (Leinster/IRL), 9 Conor Murray (Munster/IRL), 8 Taulupe Faletau (Bath/ENG), 7 Sean O'Brien (Leinster/IRL), 6 Sam Warburton (captain, Cardiff/WAL), 5 Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys/WAL), 4 Maro Itoje (Saracens/ENG), 3 Tadhg Furlong (Leinster/IRL), 2 Jamie George (Saracens/ENG), 1 Mako Vunipola (Saracens/ ENG)

Substitutes: 16 Ken Owens (Scarlets/WAL), 17 Jack McGrath (Leinster/IRL), 18 Kyle Sinckler(Harlequins/ENG), 19 Courtney Lawes (Northampton/ENG), 20 CJ Stander (Munster/IRL), 21 Rhys Webb (Ospreys/WAL), 22 Ben Te'o (Worcester/ENG), 23 Jack Nowell (Exeter/ENG)

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