Rugby World discuss the opening match of the 2017 Lions tour against NZ Provincial Barbarians

In the first of what will be a series of videos from this year’s British & Irish Lions tour, Rugby World‘s Alan Dymock and Sarah Mockford report from Whangarei ahead of the opening game of this year’s tour.

After a beautiful couple of days in Auckland, the Lions have encountered heavy rain in Whangarei and that wet weather is expected to continue into Saturday. Although it is hoped the rain will have cleared in time for kick-off, there is still likely to be a lot of surface water at Toll Stadium, which means difficult conditions for the players come tomorrow night.


Both teams have made changes to the match-day squads originally announced. Elliot Daly, who played for Wasps in the Aviva Premiership final only six days ago, has replaced Jared Payne on the Lions bench after the Ireland centre was ruled out with a calf strain. NZ Sevens player Joe Webber has also come in as a Provincial Barbarians replacement after Junior Ngaluafe withdrew for personal reasons.

NZ Provincial Barbarians v British & Irish Lions, 7.35pm (8.35am UK & Ireland), Toll Stadium, live on Sky Sports and TalkSport

NZ Provincial Barbarians: Luteru Laulala; Sam Vaka, Inga Finau, Dwayne Sweeney, Sevu Reece; Bryn Gatland, Jack Stratton; Aidan Ross, Sam Anderson-Heather (capt), Oliver Jager, Josh Goodhue, Keepa Mewett, James Tucker, Lachlan Boshier, Mitchell Dunshea.

Replacements: Andrew Makalio, Tolu Fahamokioa, Marcel Renata, Matt Matich, Peter Rowe, Richard Judd, Jonah Lowe, Joe Webber.

British & Irish Lions: Stuart Hogg; Anthony Watson, Jonathan Joseph, Ben Te’o, Tommy Seymour; Johnny Sexton, Greig Laidlaw; Joe Marler, Rory Best, Kyle Sinckler, Alun Wyn Jones, Iain Henderson, Ross Moriarty, Sam Warburton (capt), Taulupe Faletau.

Replacements: Jamie George, Mako Vunipola, Tadhg Furlong, George Kruis, Justin Tipuric, Rhys Webb, Owen Farrell, Elliot Daly.