Munster players to feature for Lions against Blues

Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent


Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent


Munster players to feature for Lions against Blues

Munster's CJ Stander, who will make his Lions debut against the Blues on Wednesday, pictured at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds in New Zealand

TWO Munster players have been included in the British and Irish Lions squad to face the Auckland Blues in their second tour match this Wednesday, 8.35am, Irish time.

Munster number eight CJ Stander will be one of eight players to make their Lions debut in the game at Eden Park.

Another Munster back-row forward, the province’s team captain Peter O’Mahony, is also in line to make his first appearance for the Lions after being named among the replacements for the game.

In all, four Irish players will start Wednesday morning’s game against the Super 15 side.

The Lions starting XV includes an all-Irish centre partnership with Ulster’s Kiwi-born Jared Payne joined by Leinster’s Robbie Henshaw.

Up front, Jack McGrath will start at tight-head prop.

Ireland captain Rory Best, Ulster’s Ian Henderson, Munster captain O’Mahony and Leinster out-half Sexton have all been named on the bench.

Wales hooker Ken Owens will captains the side after Head Coach Warren Gatland made 15 changes to the side that kicked off the Tour with an unimpressive victory over New Zealand Provincial Barbarians on Saturday.

The Blues include eight All-Blacks in their starting line-up to face Warren Gatland’s side.

Wednesday night’s game will be televised live on Sky Sports.

BRITISH & IRISH LIONS: Leigh Halfpenny; Jack Nowell, Jared Payne, Robbie Henshaw, Elliot Daly; Dan Biggar, Rhys Webb; Jack McGrath, Ken Owens, Dan Cole; Maro Itoje, Courtney Lawes; James Haskell, Justin Tipuric, CJ Stander. Replacements: Rory Best, Joe Marler, Kyle Sinckler, Iain Henderson, Peter O’Mahony, Greig Laidlaw, Johnny Sexton, Liam Williams.

BLUES: Michael Collins, Matt Duffie, George Moala, Sonny Bill Williams/TJ Faiane, Rieko Ioane; Stephen Perofeta, Augustine Pulu; Steven Luatua, Blake Gibson, Akira Ioane; Scott Scrafton, Gerard Cowley-Tuioti; Charlie Faumuina, James Parsons (captain), Ofa Tu'ungafasi. Replacements: Hame Faiva, Alex Hodgman, Sione Mafileo, Patrick Tuipulotu, Kara Pryor, Sam Nock, Ihaia West, TJ Faiane/Melani Nanai