Five Ireland players have been selected for matchday duty on Tuesday when the British & Irish Lions play the Highlanders at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin (kick-off 7.35pm local time/8.35am Irish time).
Ulster’s Jared Payne will make his second appearance of the tour – this time at full-back – with his regular Ireland centre partner Robbie Henshaw forming a new midfield combination with England’s Jonathan Joseph.
Ireland captain Rory Best will team up with Harlequins and England duo Joe Marler and Kyle Sinckler in the front row, while Iain Henderson and CJ Stander are also hoping to impress in the second row and back row respectively with the first Test against New Zealand now less than a fortnight away.
Leinster’s Jack McGrath, who was a second half replacement in yesterday’s 12-3 win over the Crusaders, is set for bench duty again along with fellow front rowers Ken Owens and Dan Cole.
With every member of the 41-man squad having started one of the first three games, Lions head coach Warren Gatland has named a new starting line-up to face the Dunedin-based Super Rugby side. The tourists will be captained by Sam Warburton who has been nursing an ankle injury.
“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.
“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 & IRISH LIONS Team & Replacements (v Highlanders, 2017 British & Irish Lions Tour, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin, New Zealand, Tuesday, June 13, kick-off 7.35pm local time/8.35am Irish time):
15. Jared Payne (Ulster/Ireland) #830
14. Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs/England) #828
13. Jonathan Joseph (Bath/England) #809
12. Robbie Henshaw (Leinster/Ireland) #824
11. Tommy Seymour (Glasgow Warriors/Scotland) #813
10. Dan Biggar (Ospreys/Wales) #821
9. Rhys Webb (Ospreys/Wales) #820
1. Joe Marler (Harlequins/England) #811
2. Rory Best (Ulster/Ireland) #793
3. Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins/England) #814
4. Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints/England) #826
5. Iain Henderson (Ulster/Ireland) #808
6. James Haskell (Wasps/England) #823
7. Sam Warburton (Cardiff Blues/Wales) (capt) #800
8. CJ Stander (Munster/Ireland) #831
16. Ken Owens (Scarlets/Wales) #829
17. Jack McGrath (Leinster/Ireland) #827
18. Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers/England) #794
19. Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys/Wales) #761
20. Justin Tipuric (Ospreys/Wales) #786
21. Greig Laidlaw (Gloucester/Scotland) #810
22. Owen Farrell (Saracens/England) #780
23. Elliot Daly (Wasps/England) #822