|Chiefs v British and Irish Lions|
|Venue: FMG Stadium Waikato, Hamilton Date: Tuesday, 20 June Kick-off: 08:35 BST|
|Coverage: Live text commentary on the BBC Sport website and app|
The six controversial British and Irish Lions call-ups are all named among the replacements for Tuesday’s match against the Chiefs in Waikato.
Allan Dell, Kristian Dacey, Tomas Francis, Cory Hill, Gareth Davies and Finn Russell were all drafted in by Warren Gatland over the weekend.
Ireland hooker Rory Best captains the side.
“We are five games into the tour and there is still a lot to play for,” said the Lions coach.
Iain Henderson, Greig Laidlaw, Dan Biggar and Elliot Daly start having come off the bench in Saturday’s 32-10 win against the Maori All Blacks.
However, the bulk of the squad that beat the Maori are preparing for the first Test against the All Blacks on Saturday, a game Gatland says he is “confident” fly-half Owen Farrell will be fit for.
“We are here to win a Test series and we have brought cover for the replacements’ bench so we can limit the number of players who need to double up, which is tough to do at this level of rugby,” added Gatland.
“Those involved on Tuesday will be playing not only for themselves in terms of further selection but also for the whole squad.”
Gatland earlier defended his six call-ups after England coach Eddie Jones said they should be on “merit” rather than geographical proximity.
Four Wales players were summoned from nearby Auckland, and two Scotland players from Australia, while Jones’ England squad are currently on tour in Argentina.
‘At a pinch he probably could have played’
Farrell was set to start on the bench against the Maori All Blacks, but was later withdrawn after he suffered a quadriceps injury in training.
However, Gatland said that was only a precautionary measure and expects the 25-year-old to be fit on Saturday.
“At a pinch he probably could have played,” said Gatland. “For us it was important that we didn’t take the risk and put him out there.
“I’ve always been confident about Owen being fit for the weekend, I’ve never not been confident.”
Farrell’s England team-mate Jonathan Joseph could also be involved against the All Blacks at Eden Park, with the 26-year-old wing left out of Tuesday’s squad to face the Chiefs.
Asked if Joseph has a chance for the first Test, Gatland added: “Well he’s played pretty well for us.”
Pressure on Warburton?
Tour captain Sam Warburton, who missed the 12-3 win over the Crusaders last weekend after rolling his ankle, started on the bench in Rotorua on Saturday.
Lions legend and BBC Sport’s rugby union analyst Jeremy Guscott does not expect the Wales flanker to start the first Test.
Gatland said the back-row unit of Peter O’Mahony, Sean O’Brien and Taulupe Faletau who started those fixtures have done “exceptionally well”.
“There’s no doubt that there’s some pressure on certain players and certain combinations have gone well,” said the New Zealander, when asked about Warburton’s situation.
“For Sam, look, we were hoping he was going to be part of the 23 against the Crusaders. Unfortunately he rolled his ankle a little bit so hadn’t recovered in time.
“There will be some tough debates and discussions to have on the final make-up of what the back-row is going to be for Saturday.”
Lions team to face Chiefs:
L Williams (Wales); J Nowell (England), J Payne (Ireland), R Henshaw (Ireland), E Daly (England); D Biggar (Wales), G Laidlaw (Scotland); J Marler (England), R Best (Ireland), D Cole (England), I Henderson (Ireland), C Lawes (England), J Haskell (England), J Tipuric (Wales), C Stander (Ireland).
K Dacey (Wales), A Dell (Scotland), T Francis (Wales), C Hill (Wales), AW Jones (Wales), G Davies (Wales), F Russell (Scotland), T Seymour (Scotland).