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Four Irishmen start as Lions announce squad to face Crusaders

Four Irishmen are amongst the starting panel as the British and Irish Lions look to bounce back.

Munster's Conor Murray and Peter O'Mahony make their first starts of the tour, as do Leinster duo Tadhg Furlong and Sean O'Brien. There are no Ulster players in the panel.

The side will be captained by Welsh lock Alyn Wyn Jones as Warren Gatland's side come up against an in-form Crusaders outfit.

The hosts are unbeaten this season, having won all 14 of their Super Rugby fixtures, and boast eight All Blacks in their line-up including captain Sam Whitelock and Israel Dagg.

In another completely changed line-up for the Lions, scrum-half Murray partners England's Owen Farrell as O'Mahony and O'Brien are joined by Taulupe Faletau in the back row. Furlong starts alongside Mako Vunipola in the front row.

Sam Warburton misses out with a slight ankle strain as the Lions bid to bounce back from the disastrous 22-16 defeat to Blues.

Lions: Stuart Hogg; George North, Jonathan Davies, Ben Te’o, Liam Williams; Owen Farrell, Conor Murray; Mako Vunipola, Jamie George, Tadhg Furlong; Alun Wyn Jones (C), George Kruis; Peter O’Mahony, Sean O’Brien, Taulupe Faletau.

Reps: Ken Owens, Jack McGrath, Dan Cole, Maro Itoje, CJ Stander, Rhys Webb, Jonathan Sexton, Anthony Watson.

Crusaders: I Dagg, S Tamanivalu, J Goodhue, D Havili, G Bridge, R Mo'unga, B Hall, J Moody, C Taylor, O Franks, L Romano, S Whitelock (C), H Bedwell-Curtis, M Todd, J Taufua.

Replacements: B Funnell, W Crockett, M Alaalatoa, Q Strange, J Brown, M Drummond, M Hunt, T Bateman.

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