Sam Warburton to captain British and Irish Lions v Highlanders
By Tony Tighe
Last Updated: 11/06/17 10:36pm
Sam Warburton will captain the British and Irish Lions in Tuesday's tour match against the Highlanders, live on Sky Sports 1 HD from 8am.
The Wales openside missed the games against the Blues and Crusaders due to an ankle injury but returns to the starting line-up as Warren Gatland makes 15 changes.
Warburton is named in the back row alongside former Highlander James Haskell and CJ Stander with Courtney Lawes and Iain Henderson forming the second-row partnership.
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Dan Biggar has recovered from the head injury he suffered against the Blues and starts at fly-half with Wales team-mate Rhys Webb at scrum-half.
Robbie Henshaw and Jonathan Joseph are the midfield combination with Jared Payne, Jack Nowell and Tommy Seymour forming the back three.
Ireland captain Rory Best gets another chance at hooker and he packs down either side of England props Joe Marler and Dan Cole.
Owen Farrell, who kicked all of the Lions' points against the Crusaders, is named on the bench.
"At this stage of the Tour everyone has had a start and as coaches we are happy that all the players have had a chance to put their hand up and perform in the Lions jersey," said Gatland.
"Each game is a chance for individuals to shine but more importantly it's about a collective performance. We are building some momentum and we have improved with every game.
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"We were obviously pleased with the win against the Crusaders, especially our defence and game management, but we know the Highlanders will be another massive test for us as a squad."
British and Irish Lions: 15 Jared Payne, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Robbie Henshaw, 11 Tommy Seymour, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Rhys Webb; 1 Joe Marler, 2 Rory Best, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 4 Courtney Lawes, 5 Iain Henderson, 6 James Haskell, 7 Sam Warburton (c), 8 CJ Stander.
Replacements: 16 Ken Owens, 17 Jack McGrath, 18 Dan Cole, 19 Alun Wyn Jones, 20 Justin Tipuric, 21 Greig Laidlaw, 22 Owen Farrell, 23 Elliot Daly.