Crusaders name seven All Blacks for Lions clash

Crusaders name seven All Blacks for Lions clash

"We know they've got x-factor players".

Despite the result, Lions head coach Gatland believed the 80 minutes was hugely beneficial as the side builds to the first Test against the All Blacks on 24 June.

British and Irish Lions great Simon Shaw was furious with referee Pascal Gauzere's decision to award Sonny Bill Williams' try for the Blues in their shock 22-16 victory over the touring side. We are facing some of the best rugby players in the world, but we have some of the world's best in this team too, so it will be a fantastic clash.

That may be why Gatland has made a decision to play Farrell as an out-and-out 10, despite the Saracens playmaker starring for England over the last 18 months at inside centre.

Experienced lock Alun Wyn Jones will captain the British and Irish Lions in the third game of their tour of New Zealand, against the in-form Crusaders.

"They are the best of the best and we want to let them have the talent".

"Saturday is going to be another tough encounter, but the players will have gelled for a little bit longer so I expect to see more improvement", he said.

A moment of brilliance from the hosts - the first of the five New Zealand Super Rugby franchises to take on the Lions - won the contest at Eden Park, as first Sonny Bill Williams then Ihaia West ripped through the midfield to dot down under the posts shortly after the Lions had taken the lead.

The Lions did not falter in his absence, with another Halfpenny penalty making it a one-point game before kicking the visitors into the lead once Williams returned.

Having spluttered to a 13-7 win last Saturday against New Zealand Provincial Barbarians, Warren Gatland's Lions looked to be heading for another unconvincing win after a Leigh Halfpenny penalty on 71 minutes to put them 16-15 ahead.

Coach Warren Gatland said he would continue to rotate his 41-man squad for the Lions' next match against the undefeated, top-of-the-table Canterbury Crusaders on Saturday.

"We have improved from the opening game with the time we have spent together and we will improve again before Saturday". Will they be good enough to beat the Crusaders at AMI Stadium in a match described already as the unofficial fourth test?

The Lions' tour becomes immeasurably more hard from Saturday when they face the Christchurch-based Crusaders who are unbeaten in 14 matches. "We also understand that with the potential test match focus of it, we have to adapt", Robertson said. Replacements: K Owens (Wales), J McGrath (Ireland), D Cole, M Itoje (both England), CJ Stander (Ireland), R Webb (Wales), J Sexton (Ireland), A Watson (England).

Seta Tamanivalu, who played centre for the All Blacks a year ago, will start on the wing for the Crusaders on Saturday, while current All Blacks prop Wyatt Crockett will come off the bench.

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