By Thomas Branston
The British and Irish Lions travel to Christchurch to face the BNZ Crusaders at the AMI Stadium on Saturday as they look to bounce back from their recent defeat to the Blues in Auckland.
Warren Gatland has named his squad ahead of the tie and Welsh lock Alun Wyn Jones will captain the side that includes Owen Farrell and George North, who will make their first starts of this tour.
The hosts will make history on Saturday when they will face up against the Lions for the first time.
BNZ Crusaders Head Coach Scott Robertson has named a strong side which includes nine All Blacks that have been named in Steve Hansen’s 33-man squad set to face the Lions in the test series.
The squad also includes full-back Israel Dagg who will be a familiar face to the Lions and a backline brimming with the exciting young Super Rugby talent.
Gatland has rung the changes again for the third game of the tour seeing the starting pack being replaced from the Blues defeat. England and Saracens pair Mako Vunipola and Jamie George come into the front row with Leinster’s Tadhg Furlong.
Alun Wyn Jones will lead the side and will partner up with George Kruis whilst Ireland’s Peter O’Mahony and Sean O’Brien will be either side of Taulupe Faletau in the back row.
The backline has also seen everyone replaced from the last game with a new halfback partnership in Conor Murray and Owen Farrell.
Worcester’s Ben Te’o and Jonathan Davies will pair up in midfield with the backline being made up of Liam Williams who was shown a yellow card against the Blues, George North and Stuart Hogg.
BNZ Crusaders | 15. Israel Dagg 14. Seta Tamanivalu, 13. Jack Goodhue, 12. David Havili, 11. George Bridge, 10. Richie Mo’ung, 9. Bryn Hall; 1. Joe Moody, 2. Codie Taylor, 3. Owen Franks, 4. Luke Romano, 5. Sam Whitelock (C), 6. Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, 7. Matt Todd (VC), 8. Jordan Taufua
Replacements | 16. Ben Funnell, 17. Wyatt Crockett, 18. Michael Alaalatoa, 19. Quinten Strange, 20. Jed Brown, 21. Mitchell Drummond, 22. Mitchell Hunt, 23. Tim Bateman
British and Irish Lions | 15. Stuart Hogg, 14. George North, 13. Jonathan Davies, 12. Ben Te’o, 11. Liam Williams, 10. Owen Farrell, 9. Conor Murray; 1. Mako Vunipola, 2. Jamie George, 3. Tadhg Furlong, 4. Alun Wyn Jones (C), 5. George Kruis, 6. Peter O’Mahony, 7. Sean O’Brien, 8. Taulupe Faletau
Replacements |16. Ken Owens, 17. Jack McGrath, 18. Dan Cole, 19. Maro Itoje, 20. CJ Stander, 21. Rhys Webb, 22. Johnny Sexton, 23. Anthony Watson