Published: Mon, June 19, 2017
Sport | By Ellis Neal

Stephen Donald to lead Chiefs vs British and Irish Lions

Stephen Donald to lead Chiefs vs British and Irish Lions

Moriarty's departure was announced shortly after Gatland called up Wales's Cory Hill, Kristian Dacey, Gareth Davies and Tomas Francis, and indicated more reinforcements would follow.

Scotland prop Allan Dell and fly-half Finn Russell were then called up following Scotland's 24-19 defeat of Australia in Sydney on Saturday.

Warren Gatland is happy with the British and Irish Lions' display against the Maori All Blacks, claiming that his side dominated all aspects of the game.

"We have been written off but we have said all along that it's about winning the test series and that's what we're here to do", he said.

The British and Irish Lions have turned the second-half screws on the Maori All Blacks, emerging 32-10 victors in Rotorua.

"It is not (particular) to New Zealand teams", said Kaino, from the training base in Auckland.

Such has been the chippy interface between Gatland and Steve Hansen, the pair exchanging barbs on various matters, that the Lions head coach stated that his All Blacks counterpart must be "worried" about what is headed his way.

For most of the Lions players, staying out of the 23 for Tuesday's clash with the Chiefs was a goal, given that it would vastly reduce their prospects of featuring in the first Test. The controversy of the six new call-ups will continue as they come off the bench against the Chiefs, of course, but Gatland has already moved on.

A clever Sexton kick right into the corner gave the Lions a great chance to score their opening try after 26 minutes, only for a poor lineout to let the Maoris off the hook, but Halfpenny's fourth successful strike from the tee gave the tourists a 12-10 lead.

England coach Eddie Jones said Gatland has resorted to selecting players on the basis of "geographical proximity" rather than ability.

"Normally he's pretty calm but he has been doing a lot of press conferences and I can only take that as a sign of respect", Gatland said.

Lock Maro Itoje scored a try, the Lions received a penalty try from scrum superiority and fullback Leigh Halfpenny kicked 20 points from six penalties and a conversion as the Lions enjoyed a successful dress rehearsal for the first test at Eden Park.

Gatland was expected to play as close to his Test side as possible against the Maoris, but his plans were affected by Owen Farrell's withdrawal due to a thigh injury.

"They're in a new side that's been developing over the last four weeks and I think we're going to be a hell of a side".

As to what that identity was, Farrell added: "I'm sure you've seen some physical hits, some good defensive breakdown work".

This is the season when all the home nations pull together to support the Lions and had these been injury replacements they would have surely gone for the best option available.

If the Lions want to be judged exclusively on what happens against the All Blacks, then why not just start and end there instead of asking everyone to buy into a longer tour? "I have got no issues with protecting the Test team by calling up some extra cover for midweek", he wrote. That's another big challenge for us.

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