Warburton to captain British and Irish Lions against NZ

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Lions boss Gatland will square up to son Bryn for the first time, when the Blues playmaker starts at fly-half for the New Zealand Provincial Barbarians against the tourists.

"I'm really looking forward to it, but I'm nervous as well".

"If it's about getting your best players on the field and it means moving someone from another position then we may look at that", Gatland said of the possibility of picking Farrell at inside centre.

Graham Henry's judgment error has been seized on by Lions coach Warren Gatland in explaining selections. Who's likely to be lining up in Black against them, and how will they fare in the tour matches? But that works both ways as the Lions won't want to risk starting any of their Test lineup, and while some will have to pull bench duty you'd think they'll only get game time if absolutely necessary.

New Zealand-based Newshub report that of a poll conducted by Colmar Brunton, 78% of the 1,000 Kiwis polled couldn't name a single member of the Lions squad.

And Gatland Senior wants his Lions to kick-start their gruelling 10-match tour on the front foot by heaping the pressure on the Barbarians.

"I'll tell the boys they have to relax, and enjoy the occasion".

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'If we can go and play some good rugby and make people take notice, it's going to create even more interest.

Interestingly, Gatland said he had informed his players of the match-day squad for the first game of the tour a week ago, and was surprised all had managed to keep it a secret. "So if we drop a game or two on the way, as we're looking at combinations or trying things out, it's not going to be the end of the world". "I think for everyone, the dream is to be involved in the Test matches".

Tour captain Sam Warburton accepted the challenge on behalf of his team during the "powhiri" (welcome), which included a performance of the All Blacks' traditional "Ka Mate" haka.

Warburton, who is returning from a knee injury that sidelined him in April, will lead a powerful line-up against a Provincial Barbarians XV in Whangarei on Saturday.

"These games are important to win, you get a good feeling, but we've got to realise that the next three, four weeks are big learning weeks for us". "I want the players to put us coaches under pressure and make the job hard for us in terms of selection and who we pick when it comes to the first Test".

Ireland lock Iain Henderson said the men in green "got under the All Blacks' skin" in their shock 40-29 win and the Lions will aim to do the same in New Zealand. Prior to finalising the squad last Thursday, they lost a couple of players as they were needed for Super Rugby duty.

"I was a little bit nervous about that".