Sam Warburton back to lead Lions

11 June 2017, 09:07

Sam Warburton (Lions)

Sam Warburton has beaten his ankle injury and will captain the British and Irish Lions against the Highlanders on Tuesday.

The Wales flanker missed the 12-3 win over the Crusaders but has made a full recovery, and now has the chance to prove his form and fitness for the first All Blacks Test.

The starting fifteen is completely different to the one which beat the Crusaders, with Wales team-mates Dan Biggar and Rhys Webb recreating their half-back partnership.

Wales' Leigh Halfpenny would be the current favourite to start at full-back in the Tests, but Ireland's Jared Payne has shaken off a calf issue to start.

England flanker James Haskell will start against his former club, while Robbie Henshaw and Jonathan Joseph will form an all-new centre pairing.

"At this stage of the tour everyone has had a start and as coaches we are happy that all the players have had a chance to put their hand up and perform in the Lions jersey,'' said head coach Warren Gatland.

"Each game is a chance for individuals to shine but more importantly it's about a collective performance.

"We are building some momentum and we have improved with every game.

"We were obviously pleased with the win against the Crusaders, especially our defence and game management, but we know the Highlanders will be another massive test for us as a squad."

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