All Blacks vs. British & Irish Lions Live Streams
Saturday, 19:35 NZT / 08:35 BST
We’re finally here. After weeks of talk around the water cooler, Steve Hansen’s world champion All Blacks will take on Warren Gatland’s British & Irish Lions at Eden Park.
Blacks vs. British & Irish Lions Live Tv
A playmaker who will seek field position before unleashing runners at close quarters, and kick every point on offer. And blistering line speed.
For their part the ABs pack will be confident of achieving more than parity up front – especially against a shorter lineout and a scrum that has yet to really churn turf.
From there they will look to stretch and stress the Lions. To capitalise on every attacking opportunity they conjure or are handed by a team that will go to the air often.
They will mix it up to break down the red wall. Sonny Bill, sometimes taking 25m bullets directly from Aaron Smith, and Ryan Crotty, will interest defenders with big attempts to poke holes in the close and midfield channels.
Beauden Barrett will draw them wide with wrapping plays and kick passes, all the while looking for any chance to take on the line and explode through the merest hint of a gap.
Blacks vs. British & Irish Lions
The All Blacks’ selectors threw a curveball, naming Rieko Ioane to start on the wing ahead of Julian Savea and Waisake Naholo. It’ll be Ioane’s third appearance for the All Blacks having featured on their November tour last year. Ryan Crotty returns from injury and will start at outside centre alongside Sonny Bill Williams in the midfield. Kieran Read is over a thumb issue and will captain the side from the back of the scrum.
Warren Gatland issued a statement of intent, dropping two of his favourite Welsh players in George North and Leigh Halfpenny for the in-form Elliot Daly and Liam Williams. The pair impressed in the midweek win over the Chiefs on Tuesday and will form an exciting back three with Anthony Watson.
All Blacks: B Smith, Dagg, Crotty, Williams, Ioane, B Barrett, A Smith; Moody, Taylor, Franks, Retallick, Whitelock, Kaino, Cane, Read (capt).
Replacements: Harris, Crockett, Faumuina, S Barrett, A Savea, Perenara, Cruden, Lienert-Brown.
Lions: Williams, Watson, Davies, Te’o, Daly, Farrell, Murray; Vunipola, George, Furlong, Jones, Kruis, O’Mahony (capt), O’Brien, Faletau.
Replacements: Owens, McGrath, Sinckler, Itoje, Warburton, Webb, Sexton, Halfpenny.