Lions skipper Warburton returns to face Highlanders

Owen Farrell

These Lions are no pussycats.

Henry said the win in Christchurch was massive in the context of this Lions tour and that foundations are being laid ahead of the test series against the All Blacks.

However, Warren Gatland's side's victory over the previously unbeaten Crusaders breathes life into their tour of New Zealand following the last-minute midweek defeat to the Blues. Through adversity, has this squad come together?

"Warren Gatland and his management team would have worked with Sam Warburton and a number of the senior players to put these things in place".

British and Irish Lions team to face the Highlanders on Tuesday: J Payne (Ireland), J Nowell, J Joseph (both England), R Henshaw (Ireland), T Seymour (Scotland), D Biggar, R Webb (both Wales), J Marler (England), R Best (Ireland), K Sinckler, C Lawes (both England), I Henderson (Ireland), J Haskell (England), S Warburton (Wales, capt), CJ Stander (Ireland).

The Lions will not be able to afford to miss such opportunities against the All Blacks, but at least they created some.

The Lions went tryless and held the Crusaders tryless in Saturday's match, leaving a target for Gatland's critics who say the tourists' lack of try-scoring ability is of concern.

"There was criticism in some quarters about the style of game the Lions played, their kicking and turning game, 'in the washing machine, back and back, back and forth, ' as Crusaders coach, Scott Robertson put it", acknowledged Henry. And that's been challenging.

'I don't think it's a pressure situation, it's a group that needs to keep on building and the message to the boys this morning about Tuesday is we're building our plan, the things that we do behind the scenes as well as what we do on the pitch.

"I don't think we got shoved off a ball, in terms of counter rucking, all night".

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Owen Farrell kicked four penalties to beat the Crusaders.

Dan Biggar is fit to return and start at fly-half having completed all the relevant concussions testing, and Murray suffered a suspected dislocated finger against the Crusaders but Lions bosses are unconcerned by the minor issue.

The Lions led 9-3 at the break, with Farrell's opposite Richie Mo'unga having slotted his team's only points via a penalty.

And after the game, Farrell was left happy with the performance from the Lions and hopes they can push on.

Stuart Hogg could become the first major casualty of the British and Irish Lions' tour of New Zealand as he awaits specialist advice on a cheekbone injury.

"We've gone hard with the lads, fitness-wise, contact-wise and taking a lot out of the legs".

Proof at last these Lions can play a bit.

Sean O'Brien played his first game since early April, and it was arguably the Leinster man's finest performance of the season.

"We have to really compress that and squeeze it down".

I thought that the playmakers. "We got up off the floor and pushed... and that gave us some great front-foot ball". Maku Vunipola was also fantastic today as was Peter O Mahony.

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