The first match of the 2017 British & Irish Lions tour is almost upon us.
On Saturday, Sam Warburton will lead out the tourists in Whangarei to face a NZ Provincial Barbarians XV hoping to kick the tour off with an emphatic win.
Warren Gatland’s British & Irish Lions squad has departed for New Zealand — but which players would you pick for the first Test?
The captain has been included in a strong line-up but is it the one you would pick in an ideal world?
Irish prop Tadhg Furlong will be on the bench at the Toll Stadium but he has proved the most popular player among our readers, receiving 444 votes to start the first Test at the time of writing.
Fullback Stuart Hogg — who does start in Whangarei — and lock Maro Itoje have also proved popular, while Jamie George is currently leading the way at hooker.
ESPN Readers’ Lions XV (as of 1.30 p.m. June 2):
Hogg, Nowell, Henshaw, Farrell, North, Sexton, Murray; M. Vunipola, George, Furlong, Itoje, Kruis, Stander, Warburton, Faletau.
Don’t agree with that selection? Rank the squad now to get your favourite player into contention.
www.espn.co.uk – RUGBY