Warburton leads, Sexton and Farrell combine

Sam Warburton will captain the British & Irish Lions against New Zealand in Wellington on Saturday while Jonathan Sexton starts at fly-half.

Warburton replaces Peter O'Mahony in a starting line-up showing three personnel changes from the XV that started the first Test.

Maro Itoje comes into the second row for George Kruis, while Sexton is at fly-half and Owen Farrell shifts to inside centre instead of Ben Te'o.

There are changes to the replacements' bench with Courtney Lawes, Jack Nowell and CJ Stander all coming into the squad after impressing against the Hurricanes on Tuesday.

Head Coach Warren Gatland said: "We saw Maro's impact in the first Test and he will bring an edge and a physicality, as will Sam Warburton in terms of pressure on the ball.

"It's tough on Peter O'Mahony who has done a brilliant job for us. We had to look at the bench and we felt that CJ Stander's ball carrying and defence was the right choice for the bench. You have to make the tough calls and pick what is the right team and the right combinations for a Test match."

Gatland added: "In terms of the backs, we have gone with the Sexton-Farrell combination. Both have played well and it gives us that attacking option in the 10-12 channel. We created opportunities in the first Test and there were a few that we didn't finish.

"There were lots of positives from the first Test but we were disappointed that we put ourselves in a position to put the All Blacks under pressure and to get back into the game and we let it slip.

"This is a big chance for these players to go out and show what they are capable of on Saturday night. For the players retained from the first Test it's an opportunity for them to step up and to show an improvement because individually they were disappointed and you have another group coming in who are also desperate to seize their chance."

British & Irish Lions: 15 Liam Williams, 14 Anthony Watson, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Owen Farrell, 11 Elliot Daly, 10 Johnny Sexton, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Taulupe Faletau, 7 Sean O’Brien, 6 Sam Warburton (c), 5 Alun Wyn Jones, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Jamie George, 1 Mako Vunipola
Replacements: 16 Ken Owens, 17 Jack McGrath, 18 Kyle Sinckler, 19 Courtney Lawes, 20 CJ Stander, 21 Rhys Webb, 22 Ben Te’o, 23 Jack Nowell

Date: Saturday, July 1
Venue: Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Kick-off: 19:35 local (07:35 GMT)
Referee: Jérôme Garcès (France)
Assistant Referees: Romain Poite (France), Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)

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