Saturday, June 3rd, Provincial Barbarians vs British & Irish Lions, Toll Stadium, Whangarei, 8:35pm kick-off (Live on Sky Sports 8am)
The British and Irish Lions launch their tour of New Zealand against the Provincial Barbarians – a match that is expected to be their least testing of the 10-game itinerary.
Provincial Barbarians v British & Irish Lions Team News
All three Scottish tourists – Greig Laidlaw, Tommy Seymour and Stuart Hogg – are selected and, despite never having started a Test match for England, rookie prop Kyle Sinckler is in the front row.
England’s powerhouse Ben Te’o, who was born in New Zealand, gets the nod at inside-centre, with Ireland’s Johnny Sexton looking to impress at fly-half.
But many eyes will be on Sexton’s opposite man. The Provincial Barbarians’ number 10 is Bryn Gatland, a 22-year-old who has represented the Auckland Blues and is the son of the Lions boss.
And a repeat of the 114-10 win over Western Australia in 2001 four years ago seems unlikely and followers of New Zealand rugby and Sevens will recognise the name of Sam Vaka, who along with former Chiefs midfielder Dwayne Sweeney and Waikato’s try-scoring sensation Sevu Reece all make up a competent back-line.
Lachlan Boshier, part of the Chiefs squad, and of course Blues fly-half Bryn Gatland, son of Lions head coach Warren, will need to be paid close attention also.
Provincial Barbarians v British & Irish Lions Odds
Provincial Barbarians 20/1, Draw 33/1, Lions 1/50
Provincial Barbarians (+36) Evens, Draw (+36) 13/1, Lions (-36) Evens
How can you watch?
Watch it live on Sky Sports 1 or via NowTV. For full international broadcast details, click here.
TalkSport radio will be covering all tour games, and the three Tests, live also.