Faletau and Watson start for the Lions against Maori All Blacks

15 June 2017

Bath Rugby’s Taulupe Faletau and Anthony Watson will start for the British & Irish Lions in their fourth match of the tour against the Maori All Blacks at Roturua International Stadium on Saturday, kick-off 08:35 BST.

Faletau and Watson have both shown their test credentials with impressive performances in the red jersey and will be looking to continue that form this weekend. The Lions will have their work cut out against a side that can boast the likes of New Zealand internationals Nehe Milner-Skudder, Damian McKenzie and Rieko Ioane.

Ireland’s Peter O’Mahony will captain the Lions and follows Sam Warburton, Ken Owens and Alun Wyn Jones in leading the 2017 Lions in what has been billed the 'Fourth Test.' 

Head Coach Warren Gatland said: “At this stage of the Tour it is important to build on the foundations that have been laid in the last few weeks.

“We were obviously disappointed with the loss against the Highlanders and realise that we need to improve in several areas, including our discipline, but we feel that overall we are building well towards the Test matches.

“Every game is a big challenge, which is what we wanted, and this is an experienced Lions team with eight of the starting 15 involved in the last Test in Australia in 2013.”

Gatland added: “Peter is a proven captain with Munster who never takes a backward step and we believe that those leadership qualities will serve us well on Saturday against a quality and determined Maori All Blacks team.”

British & Irish Lions team to face the Maori All Blacks

15. Leigh Halfpenny – Toulon, Wales, #775
14. Anthony Watson – Bath Rugby, England, #816
13. Jonathan Davies – Scarlets, Wales, #778
12. Ben Te’o – Worcester Warriors, England, #815
11. George North – Northampton Saints, Wales, #792
10. Johnny Sexton – Leinster, Ireland, #791
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. Maro Itoje – Saracens, England, #825
5. George Kruis – Saracens, England, #819
6. Peter O’Mahony (capt) – Munster, Ireland, #833
7. Sean O’Brien – Leinster, Ireland, #796
8. Taulupe Faletau – Bath Rugby, Wales, #779

16. Ken Owens – Scarlets, Wales, #829
17. Jack McGrath – Leinster, Ireland, #827
18. Kyle Sinckler – Harlequins, England, #814
19. Iain Henderson – Ulster, Ireland, #808
20. Sam Warburton – Cardiff Blues, Wales, #800
21. Greig Laidlaw – Gloucester Rugby, Scotland, #810
22. Dan Biggar – Ospreys, Wales, #821 (UPDATE: Late injury replacement for Owen Farrell)
23. Elliot Daly – Wasps, England, #822


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