Munster's Peter O'Mahony to skipper Lions against Maori

Backrow to captain strong Lions XV

Colm Kinsella


Colm Kinsella

Munster's Peter O'Mahony to skipper Lions against Maoris

Munster's Peter O'Mahony will captain the Lions against the Maoris on Saturday

MUNSTER’S Peter O'Mahony will captain the British & Irish Lions against the Maori All-Blacks at Rotorua International Stadium on Saturday, 8.35am Irish time.

O’Mahony starts the game in the back-row, while Munster scrum-half Conor Murray will partner his Irish international team mate Johnny Sexton at half-back.

Owen Farrell will miss Saturday's match against Maori All-Blacks because of a quad strain.

Munster skipper O’Mahony follows Sam Warburton, Ken Owens and Alun Wyn Jones in leading the 2017 Lions in what has been billed the 'fourth Test'.

Peter O’Mahony says the captaincy is a special moment in his career.

"It's a huge honour, obviously to be picked for the Lions at all is a massive honour," he said.

"To get the nod from Warren this weekend is hugely special, not just me but for all the clubs, people and family who have put effort into me. It's a huge honour.

"We want to win but first and foremost we need a performance. Whatever comes after that is what comes.

"We need to be stepping up and guys to stick your hands up."

Head Coach Warren Gatland said: "Peter (O’Mahony) is a proven captain with Munster. He never takes a backward step and we believe that those leadership qualities will serve us well on Saturday against a quality and determined Maori All Blacks team.

"Every game is a big challenge, which is what we wanted, and this is an experienced Lions team with eight of the starting 15 involved in the last Test in Australia in 2013.”

LIONS: Leigh Halfpenny (Wales); Anthony Watson (England), Jonathan Davies (Wales), Beo Te'o (England), George North (Wales); Jonathan Sexton, Conor Murray (both Ireland); Mako Vunipola, Jamie George (both England), Tadhg Furlong (Ireland), Maro Itoje, George Kruis (both England), Peter O'Mahony (capt, Ireland), Sean O'Brien (Ireland), Taulupe  Faletau (Wales). 

Replacements: Ken Owens (Wales), Jack McGrath (Ireland), Kyle Sinckler (England), Iain Henderson (Ireland), Sam Warburton (Wales), Greig Laidlaw (Scotland), Dan Biggar (Wales), Elliot Daly (England).