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Peter O'Mahony captains the Lions as Sexton gets nod at 10

Owen Farrell had been named on the bench but drops out injured.

Murray Kinsella reports from Rotorua

PETER O’MAHONY WILL captain the Lions from blindside flanker in Saturday’s clash with the Māori All Blacks in Rotorua [KO 8.35am Irish time, Sky Sports].

Peter O'Mahony O'Mahony leads the Lions. Dan Sheridan / INPHO Dan Sheridan / INPHO / INPHO

Warren Gatland has handed Johnny Sexton the Lions’ 10 shirt a week out from the first Test against the All Blacks.

Owen Farrell had been named as part of the Lions’ bench, but he has since dropped out of the fixture with a worrying quad injury, Dan Biggar taking his place among the replacements.

Sean O’Brien starts at openside flanker, with Sam Warburton among the replacements, while Ireland internationals Tadhg Furlong and Conor Murray are also in the starting XV.

Leigh Halfpenny, Anthony Watson and George North make up the Lions’ back three, while Jonathan Davies will return from a head injury to partner Ben Te’o in midfield.

With Murray and Sexton in the halfbacks, Taulupe Faletau joins O’Brien and O’Mahony in the back row. Maro Itoje is alongside Saracens and England team-mate George Kruis in the second row, as Mako Vunipola, Jamie George and Furlong form the front row.

Joining Farrell and Warburton on the bench are Ken Owens, Jack McGrath, Kyle Sinckler, Iain Henderson, Greig Laidlaw and the versatile Elliot Daly.

Lions (v Maori All Blacks):

15. Leigh Halfpenny
14. Anthony Watson
13. Jonathan Davies
12. Ben Te’o
11. George North
10. Johnny Sexton
9. Conor Murray

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


16. Ken Owens
17. Jack McGrath
18. Kyle Sinckler
19. Iain Henderson
20. Sam Warburton
21. Greig Laidlaw
22. Dan Biggar
23. Elliot Daly

Referee: Jaco Peyper [SARU].

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