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Friday, 19 October, 2018

Lions name team to face Maori All Blacks

Sexton given nod at fly-half

Jonathan Sexton starts for the Lions against the Maori All Blacks
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The British & Irish Lions have named their team to face the Maori All Blacks in Rotorua on Saturday, a selection many believe to be close to Warren Gatland's Test line-up.

Jonathan Sexton starts at fly-half, partnering Ireland teammate Conor Murray, while Owen Farrell, who had originally been named on the bench, has been ruled out with a leg muscle strain. Dan Biggar is his replacement.

Farrell looked to have staked a claim for the Test shirt with a commanding performance against the Crusaders last weekend. 

Tour captain Sam Warburton is on the bench having started - and scored a try - against the Highlanders on Tuesday. Peter O'Mahony will captain the side in Rotorua.

The Lions are five-point favourites for Saturday's showdown - they then face the Chiefs on Tuesday before the big one against the All Blacks on June 24.

Lions team: L Halfpenny (Wales); A Watson (England), J Davies (Wales), B Te'o (England), G North (Wales); J Sexton, C Murray (both Ireland); M Vunipola, J George (both England), T Furlong (Ireland), M Itoje, G Kruis (both England), P O'Mahony (capt, Ireland), S O'Brien (Ireland), T Faletau (Wales).

Replacements: K Owens (Wales), J McGrath (Ireland), K Sinckler (England), I Henderson (Ireland), S Warburton (Wales), G Laidlaw (Scotland), D Biggar (Wales), E Daly (England).

Tour captain Sam Warburton is on the bench having started - and scored a try - against the Highlanders
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