British and Irish Lions unchanged for decisive third Test against New Zealand

Paola Ditto
Luglio 6, 2017

"This final match in the series is going to be a cracker".

Barrett made his debut off the bench against Samoa last month, while Laumape did likewise in the 24-21 second test loss to the Lions last week in Wellington after Sonny Bill Williams was given a red card for a unsafe shoulder charge.

Returning to the side on the wing is try-scoring sensation Julian Savea, who was controversially left out of the matchday squads for the first two Tests but is now afforded the chance to add to his haul of 46 worldwide tries.

Both Barrett and Laumape have been in blistering Super Rugby form for the Hurricanes this year, but they are sure to come under pressure on Saturday, given their global inexperience, as the Lions target a first Test series triumph against New Zealand since 1971.

Jones captained the Lions when they faced a series decider in Australia four years ago, overseeing a spectacular performance as the Wallabies were routed 41-16.

Ioane's dropping is the biggest surprise, with the 20-year-old having utilised his speed to score twice in the 30-15 first Test win at Eden Park. "I think if we can do all these things and maintain that intensity for a longer period, it should go some way towards improving our performance for next week".

"The 1993 side went close, but they were well beaten in the decider and the Lions will have to be ready for a major onslaught on Saturday because that's the way New Zealand play".

"I can't believe we beat them last weekend", says one of the lions.

"Every Lions tour has been a success if you stop thinking about the rugby on the field".

"We know it will be a physical and intense match, but just as importantly, it will be a game where both teams will have moments of momentum, and the ability of everyone to adapt and adjust throughout the 80 minutes will be crucial".

The rest of the All Blacks team is unchanged, which means Saturday night will have a second significance about it, with skipper Kieran Read earning his 100th test cap. Both New Zealand and the Lions are edging towards the Eden Park showdown with a discipline deficit growing.

No pressure then on the rookie pair on their first test starts.

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