Team news

Payne, Henshaw, McGrath and Stander start the Lions' second game

Welshman Ken Owens will captain Warren Gatland’s side in Auckland on Wednesday.

Murray Kinsella reports from Auckland

IRELAND INTERNATIONALS Robbie Henshaw, Jared Payne, Jack McGrath and CJ Stander have been named in the Lions’ XV to face the Blues at Eden Park on Wednesday [KO 8.35am Irish time, Sky Sports].

Robbie Henshaw Robbie Henshaw starts alongside Jared Payne in midfield. Dan Sheridan / INPHO Dan Sheridan / INPHO / INPHO

Peter O’Mahony, Rory Best, Iain Henderson and Johnny Sexton are also on the bench for the Lions’ second game of their tour of New Zealand.

Warren Gatland has named a completely-changed team after Saturday’s unconvincing victory over the Provincial Barbarians in Whangarei and will be hoping for a much-improved collective showing against a good Blues team.

Welsh hooker Ken Owens – having recovered from injury – captains the side in a front row that also includes Dan Cole, while Maro Itoje and Courtney Lawes make up the second row pairing.

Stander is at number eight in a back row that also features James Haskell and Justin Tipuric, while Welsh duo Rhys Webb and Dan Biggar are the halfbacks.

Henshaw and Payne – who has recovered from a calf strain – get a chance to renew their Ireland partnership in midfield, while Leigh Halfpenny is at fullback in a back three that also includes Jack Nowell and Elliot Daly.

Joe Marler and Kyle Sinckler are the reserve props, while Greig Laidlaw and Liam Williams complete the back three.

Lions (v Blues):

15. Leigh Halfpenny
14. Jack Nowell
13. Jared Payne
12. Robbie Henshaw
11. Elliot Daly
10. Dan Biggar
9. Rhys Webb

1. Jack McGrath
2. Ken Owens (captain)
3. Dan Cole
4. Maro Itoje
5. Courtney Lawes
6. James Haskell
7. Justin Tipuric
8. CJ Stander


16. Rory Best
17. Joe Marler
18. Kyle Sinckler
19. Iain Henderson
20. Peter O’Mahony
21. Greig Laidlaw
22. Johnny Sexton
23. Liam Williams

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