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Dublin: 11 °C Friday 25 May, 2018
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Peter O'Mahony named Lions captain for the first Test

Warren Gatland has sprung a couple of surprises for the clash in Auckland.

Murray Kinsella reports from Auckland

IRELAND’S PETER O’MAHONY has been named Lions captain for Saturday’s first Test against the All Blacks in Auckland [KO 8.35am Irish time, Sky Sports].

Peter O'Mahony POM is captain. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

With tour captain Sam Warburton limited to a place on the bench, Munster man O’Mahony follows in the footsteps of the likes of Paul O’Connell and Brian O’Driscoll by leading the Lions in a Test match.

Lions head coach Warren Gatland has gone with Owen Farrell at out-half for the opening clash with the All Blacks, meaning Johnny Sexton is on the bench.

There are a handful of surprise selections too, with Liam Williams starting at fullback ahead of Leigh Halfpenny, Alun Wyn Jones included in the second row ahead of Maro Itoje and Elliot Daly starting on the left wing, with George North left out of the 23 completely.

Ireland internationals Conor Murray, Tadhg Furlong and Sean O’Brien are part of the XV, while Jack McGrath is on the bench alongside Sexton.

Lions (v All Blacks):

15. Liam Williams
14. Anthony Watson
13. Jonathan Davies
12. Ben Te’o
11. Elliot Daly
10. Owen Farrell
9. Conor Murray

1. Mako Vunipola
2. Jamie George
3. Tadhg Furlong
4. Alun Wyn Jones
5. George Kruis
6. Peter O’Mahony (captain)
7. Sean O’Brien
8. Taulupe Faletau

Replacements:

16. Ken Owens
17. Jack McGrath
18. Kyle Sinckler
19. Maro Itoje
20. Sam Warburton
21. Rhys Webb
22. Johnny Sexton
23. Leigh Halfpenny

Referee: Jaco Peyper [SARU].

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Murray Kinsella

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