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Pressure on Ulster trio Rory Best, Iain Henderson and Jared Payne in Lions return

 

By Jonathan Bradley

Ulster's three British and Irish Lions will need to roar tomorrow, according to coach Warren Gatland.

With only 12 days until the first Test meeting with the All Blacks in Eden Park, the Lions take on the Highlanders in Dunedin tomorrow morning (8.35am kick-off), with Rory Best, Iain Henderson and Jared Payne all getting the start.

And after those that played in the win over Crusaders on Saturday laid down a marker, coach Gatland put the onus on the team for tomorrow to respond.

"They are all big games for everyone now," Gatland stressed. "We felt we were improving over the first couple of games. Saturday was a big step up in performance, particularly defensively, against Crusaders.

"And I think the players for the Highlanders game are well aware of the continuity and momentum that has been created from the Crusaders win, and want to continue that. And for them to go and perform collectively and individually, the challenge is to put us under pressure as coaches for selection for Saturday and then ultimately for the first Test."

Lions team to face Highlanders: Payne; Nowell; Joseph, Henshaw; Seymour; Biggar, Webb; Marler, Best, Sinckler; Lawes, Henderson; Haskell, Warburton (captain), Stander

Replacements: Owens, McGrath, Cole, Jones, Tipuric, Laidlaw, Farrell, Daly.

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