Jump to main content


Best To Captain Lions Against Chiefs

Best To Captain Lions Against Chiefs

Rory Best will be the second successive Ireland player to captain the British & Irish Lions on their 2017 tour, leading the side for Tuesday’s clash with the Chiefs at FMG Stadium Waikato in Hamilton (kick-off 7.35pm local time/8.35am Irish time).

Ireland captain Rory Best will skipper a new starting line-up as the Lions look to further build momentum towards the first Test following yesterday’s victory over the Maori All Blacks in Rotorua.

Google Ad Manager – 300×250 – In Article

There is an all-Irish centre pairing of Jared Payne and Robbie Henshaw, while Ulster duo Best and Iain Henderson feature in the tight five and Munster’s CJ Stander will pack down at number 8.

Best captained the Lions before against the Brumbies during the 2013 tour of Australia, and the announcement caps off a memorable few days for the Poyntzpass man who was awarded an OBE for his services to rugby on Friday.

The Ulster hooker commented: “The last time I captained the Lions it didn’t go perfectly for us (losing 14-12 to the Brumbies), but I’ll personally be looking to set that record straight on Tuesday.

“I think when you look at our team we’re more than capable of it. We’re used to playing with each other and like I say, you always want a little bit more. So we’ll want that win on Tuesday, and ultimately we want to win a Test series. Whoever is lucky enough to take the field in those Tests, they’re very fortunate, but it’s our job as well to make sure that everyone else is rallying around that and the same for the game on Tuesday.

“The guys that played on Saturday will roll up their sleeves and help us prepare for Tuesday, and depending on what happens at the end of the week, the opposite will happen.

“I’ve been lucky enough to play here (in Hamilton) a few times with Ireland and it’s a top ground, it’s a fantastic pitch and great atmosphere. To pull on that Lions jersey and take on the Chiefs is a prospect that we’ve got to get excited about.”
Head coach Warren Gatland said: “We are five games into the tour and there is still a lot to play for. Those involved on Tuesday will be playing not only for themselves in terms of further selection but also for the whole squad.

“We are here to win a Test series and we have brought cover for the replacements bench so we can limit the number of players who need to double up, which is tough to do at this level of rugby.

“We know it is going to be another big challenge against the Chiefs who have won the Super Rugby title twice in the last five years.”

BRITISH & IRISH LIONS Team & Replacements (v Chiefs, 2017 British & Irish Lions Tour, FMG Stadium Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand, Tuesday, June 20, kick-off 7.35pm local time/8.35am Irish time):

15. Liam Williams (Scarlets/Wales) #833
14. Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs/England) #828
13. Jared Payne (Ulster/Ireland) #830
12. Robbie Henshaw (Leinster/Ireland) #824
Elliot Daly (Wasps/England) #822
10. Dan Biggar (Ospreys/Wales) #821
9. Greig Laidlaw (Gloucester/Scotland) #810
1. Joe Marler (Harlequins/England) #811
2. Rory Best (Ulster/Ireland) (capt) #793
Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers/England) #794
4. Iain Henderson (Ulster/Ireland) #808
Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints/England) #826
6. James Haskell (Wasps/England) #823
7. Justin Tipuric (Ospreys/Wales) #786
8. CJ Stander (Munster/Ireland) #831

16. Kristian Dacey (Cardiff Blues/Wales) *
17. Allan Dell (Edinburgh/Scotland) *
18. Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs/Wales) *
19. Cory Hill (Newport Gwent Dragons/Wales) *
20. Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys/Wales) #761
21. Gareth Davies (Scarlets/Wales) *
22. Finn Russell (Glasgow Warriors/Scotland) *
23. Tommy Seymour (Glasgow Warriors/Scotland) #813

* Denotes uncapped Lions player