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Faletau and Watson in Lions squad to face Crusaders on Saturday

8 June 2017

Bath Rugby's Taulupe Faletau will start at number eight for the British & Irish Lions against Crusaders on Saturday (kick-off 08:35 BST), with Anthony Watson amongst the replacements.  

Faletau and Watson made an instant impact with impressive performances in the 7-13 tour-opening victory against the New Zealand Provincial Barbarians last week.

Three-time tourist Alun Wyn Jones will lead The British & Irish Lions into their third match and will be looking to bounce back after Wednesday's defeat against Blues. 

Wyn Jones said: “Our squad is working hard and we are seeing improvement in their performances.”

Wales skipper Jones captained the Lions in the third Test in Australia in 2013 as well as playing in all the Tests in South Africa in 2009.

And the Test centurion will bring all his experience to a starting line-up which sees Jonathan Davies, Conor Murray, George North and Sean O’Brien appear for the first time on Tour.

Head Coach Warren Gatland added: “The aim was always to start everyone in the first three matches and this selection ensures that we achieve this.

“This is an experienced team with nine of the starting 15 players having featured in 2013.

“Our squad is working hard and we are seeing improvement in their performances both at training and in the games.

“Last night’s results against the Blues was disappointing and we know we can’t afford to give away so many penalties.

“We are looking forward to the clash against the Crusaders and we expect a tough game against the most successful team in Super Rugby history.”

British & Irish Lions team to face Crusaders 

15 Stuart Hogg – Glasgow Warriors, Scotland, 783
14 George North – Northampton Saints, Wales, #792
13 Jonathan Davies – Scarlets, Wales, #778
12 Ben Te’o – Worcester Warriors, England, #815
11 Liam Williams – Scarlets, Wales, #832
10 Owen Farrell – Saracens, England, #780
9 Conor Murray – Munster, Ireland, #790

1 Mako Vunipola – Saracens, England, #787
2 Jamie George – Saracens, England, #818
3 Tadhg Furlong – Leinster, Ireland, #817
4 Alun Wyn Jones (capt) – Ospreys, Wales, #761
5 George Kruis – Saracens, England, #819
6 Peter O’Mahony – Munster, Ireland, #833
7 Sean O’Brien – Leinster, Ireland, #796
8 Taulupe Faletau – Bath Rugby, Wales, #779

Replacements

16 Ken Owens – Scarlets, Wales, #829
17 Jack McGrath – Leinster, Ireland, #827
18 Dan Cole – Leicester, England, #794
19 Maro Itoje – Saracens, England, #825
20 CJ Stander – Munster, Ireland, #831
21 Rhys Webb – Ospreys, Wales, #820
22 Johnny Sexton – Leinster, Ireland, #791
23 Anthony Watson – Bath Rugby, England, #816

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