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Principale » Warren Gatland names Alun Wyn Jones as Lions captain for Crusaders match

Warren Gatland names Alun Wyn Jones as Lions captain for Crusaders match

15 Juin 2017

"But we think the Lions will get better, I'm sure they will, they are quality players and there's no reason why they shouldn't".

Next up: The Lions leave Auckland with a first defeat of the tour and head to the South Island and Christchurch for this Saturday's third game against Super Rugby kingpins the Crusaders.

But he faces one of his biggest challenges on Saturday, his first start of the Lions' New Zealand tour against an Crusaders side studded with All Blacks and unbeaten this year in Super Rugby.

Alun Wyn Jones will lead the British & Irish Lions against the Crusaders on Saturday as the touring team look to bounce back from their midweek defeat to the Blues. I thought we played pretty well and competed with a side that's got a very good record here at Eden Park.

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.

"Last night's result against the Blues was disappointing", Gatland said in a statement on Thursday.

"So one thing going forward is we have to improve that at this point".

"(Wednesday's match) probably says the opposite but in areas we did well - it's just our discipline.

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Notably, HS Prannoy defeated world number 3 Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia by 21-10, 21-18 in a match that was played for 40 minutes. Prannoy will next face Olympic champion Chen Long of China , while Srikanth will meet Chinese Taipei's Tzu Wei Wang .

In their favour perhaps is the fact that they are starting halfback Conor Murray, an Irishman who can hold claim to being one of the best No9s in the world, and Englishman Owen Farrell, a talented operator and presumably their starting No10 for the first test on June 24.

The problem they have is that rather than players putting their hands up and forcing their way into the team, the trend so far is for players to play their way off it.

Their opponents, who featured eight All Blacks in their team, scored a game-winning converted try late on.

Robertson says the Lions will only be more determined following a hard first week of their tour, which began with a flattering win over an unheralded New Zealand provincial Barbarians team.

"A lot of credit has to go to the coaches because we knew it was going to be a tight 80-plus minute battle, and to get across the line, we are extremely proud".

"If we have to throw the ball as well, we will".

For much of the game they showed they had taken the step up as their forwards were more in control of their possession and willing to build pressure, while their defence kept the Blues pinned in their own half and did not allow them to get wide.

Warren Gatland names Alun Wyn Jones as Lions captain for Crusaders match