Munster's Peter O'Mahony dropped for Lions second Test

CJ Stander listed among replacements

Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent


Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent


Munster's Peter O'Mahony dropped for Lions second Test

Peter O'Mahony, right, with Owen Farrell at a Lions training session

FIRST Test captain Peter O’Mahony has been omitted from the Lions side to face the All-Blacks in their second Test at the Westpac Stadium, Wellington on Saturday, 8.35am Irish time.

Munster’s O’Mahony is replaced in the back-row by Wales’ Sam Warburton who will captain the tourists.

In all, the Lions show three changes in personnel from the starting XV that suffered a 30-15 defeat to New Zealand in the first of their three Test meetings.

Maro Itoje comes into the second row for George Kruis, while Johnny Sexton is at fly-half and Owen Farrell shifts to inside centre instead of Ben Te'o.

There are changes on the replacements' bench with Munster’s CJ Stander, Courtney Lawes and Jack Nowell coming into the squad after impressing against the Hurricanes on Tuesday.

Head Coach Warren Gatland said: "We saw Maro's impact in the First Test and he will bring an edge and a physicality, as will Sam Warburton in terms of pressure on the ball.

"It's tough on Peter O'Mahony who has done a brilliant job for us. We had to look at the bench and we felt that CJ Stander's ball carrying and defence was the right choice for the bench. You have to make the tough calls and pick what is the right team and the right combinations for a Test match.”

Gatland added: "In terms of the backs we have gone with the Sexton-Farrell combination. Both have played well and it gives us that attacking option in the 10-12 channel. We created opportunities in the 1st Test and there were a few that we didn't finish.

 "There were lots of positives from the first Test but we were disappointed that we put ourselves in a position to put the All Blacks under pressure and to get back into the game and we let it slip.

"This is a big chance for these players to go out and show what they are capable of on Saturday night. For the players retained from the first Test it's an opportunity for them to step up and to show an improvement because individually they were disappointed and you have another group coming in who are also desperate to seize their chance.”

LIONS: Liam Williams (Wales), Anthony Watson (England), Jonathan Davies (Wales), Owen Farrell, Elliot Daly (both England), Jonathan Sexton, Conor Murray (both Ireland), Mako Vunipola, Jamie George (both England), Tadhg Furlong (Ireland), Maro Itoje (England), Alun Wyn Jones, Sam Warburton (both Wales, capt), Sean O'Brien (Ireland), Taulupe Faletau (Wales). Replacements: Ken Owens (Wales), Jack McGrath (Ireland), Kyle Sinckler, Courtney Lawes (both England), CJ Stander (Ireland), Rhys Webb (Wales), Ben Te'o, Jack Nowell (both England)

NEW ZEALAND: Israel Dagg, Waisake Naholo, Anton Lienert-Brown, Sonny Bill Williams, Rieko Ioane, Beauden Barrett, Aaron Smith, Kieran Read (captain), Sam Cane, Jerome Kaino, Sam Whitelock, Brodie Retallick, Owen Franks, Codie Taylor, Joe Moody. Replacements: Nathan Harris, Wyatt Crockett, Charlie Faumuina, Scott Barrett, Ardie Savea, TJ Perenara, Aaron Cruden, Ngani Laumape.