Farrell fitness boost for Lions

Owen Farrell

British and Irish Lions utility back Owen Farrell has overcome his thigh strain and will be available to face the All Blacks in the first Test in Auckland on Saturday.

That was the word from Lions head coach Warren Gatland, who said Farrell's withdrawal from the matchday squad for the Lions' 32-10 victory over the Maori All Blacks in Rotorua on Saturday was a precautionary measure.

"Owen could have played on Saturday," Gatland told reporters.

"Had it been a Test match he would have played. We just made a decision that it wasn't worth taking that risk. 

"It's a quad strain that was very high and not on his kicking leg. It's on his left leg. I've no doubt he will be 100 percent fit."

Farrell was not picked for the Lions' match against the Chiefs in Hamilton on Tuesday but is set to start at fly-half or inside centre in Saturday's opening Test against the world champions at Eden Park.