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Ex-Ireland Schools prop Jager to face Lions in New Zealand tour opener

The tighthead will be among those who get the first shot at the Lions next week.

FORMER IRELAND SCHOOLS international Oliver Jager has been named in the New Zealand Provincial Barbarians squad to face the Lions next week.

The tighthead prop made his Super Rugby debut for the Crusaders in March, having helped Canterbury to the Mitre 10 Cup title and Ranfurly Shield last year.

download Jager after a Canterbury win last year.

The 21-year-old Naas man is a former student of Newbridge College and Blackrock College, and played for Ireland Schools U18s in 2013, the same year he won a Leinster Schools Senior Cup with Blackrock.

He first moved to New Zealand as a 17-year-old in order to pursue a professional career and has had major success in the proceeding years, with current Crusaders head coach Scott Robertson saying he could even eventually play for the All Blacks.

Jager will now face the Lions in their tour opener in New Zealand on 3 June in Whangerai.

NZ Provincial Barbarians head coach Clayton McMillan today confirmed his final squad for the meeting with Warren Gatland’s Lions at Toll Stadium, having previously named a smaller group of players that included Gatland’s son, Bryn.

Chiefs back row Lachlan Boshier, Waikato’s Fijian sensation Sevu Reece and Counties Manukau midfielder Sam Vaka are among the other players the Lions will need to be wary of as they get their tour underway just three days after landing in New Zealand.

Bryn Gatland Bryn Gatland [right] is also part of the squad. Source: Photosport/Joe Allison/INPHO

The Provincial Barbarians have lost the likes of the previously-named Johnny Fa’auli, Quentin Strange, Mitch Brown and Heiden Bedwell Curtis to Super Rugby commitments.

“It’s great to see provincial players make the step-up to Super Rugby and put in some impressive performances,” said head coach McMillan.

“While we would have loved to have them involved in our campaign we recognise they are needed elsewhere but our coaching group is confident we have selected a strong group of players who will relish this opportunity to take on the British & Irish Lions.

“We have put in a lot of planning to get to this point and are looking forward to spending time as a group and see it all come together.

“This is a huge occasion for our players and management and I know everyone is eager to get things underway and create history.”

New Zealand Provincial Barbarians squad to face the Lions:

Forwards:

Aidan Ross (Bay of Plenty)
Tolu Fahamokioa (Wellington)
Sam Anderson-Heather (Otago)
Andrew Makalio (Tasman)
Marcel Renata (Auckland)
Oliver Jager (Canterbury)
Keepa Mewett (Bay of Plenty)
Joshua Goodhue (Northland)
James Tucker (Waikato)
Mitchell Dunshea (Canterbury)
Lachlan Boshier (Taranaki)
Matthew Matich (Northland)
Peter Rowe (Wanganui)

Backs:

Jack Stratton (Canterbury)
Richard Judd (Bay of Plenty)
Bryn Gatland (North Harbour)
Dwayne Sweeney (Waikato)
Kaveinga Finau (Inga) (Canterbury)
Jonah Lowe (Hawke’s Bay)
Sevuloni Reece (Waikato)
Sam Vaka (Counties Manukau)
Luteru Laulala (Counties Manukau)
Junior Ngaluafe (Southland)

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Murray Kinsella

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