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O'Driscoll to captain Lions

Ireland centre Brian O'Driscoll will captain the British and Irish Lions in Wednesday's clash against Western Force in Perth.

O'Driscoll steps in for tour skipper Sam Warburton, who is likely to make his bow against Queensland Reds next Saturday. The line-up does not include any players that started against the Barbarians in Hong Kong two days ago.

Five of the line-up will make their Lions debuts - Manu Tuilagi, Rory Best, Dan Cole, Ian Evans and Sean O'Brien.

The side comprises eight Irishmen, four Welsh and three English as the Lions look to build on their 59-8 rout of the Barbarians. Ireland full-back Rob Kearney was the only player not considered, with a hamstring problem currently keeping him on the sidelines.

Lions head coach Warren Gatland said: "There were a lot of positives to come out of the first match in Hong Kong. Our fitness and application were excellent, and we operated well in the set-pieces.

"That said, it was our first match, and naturally we were all a bit rusty, and there is definitely room for improvement. Of course this is a completely new team, and the challenge is to ensure that the selected players continue the on-field progress we are seeking.

"With Brian at the helm you can be sure they will be ready to emulate the victory against the Barbarians. This is his fourth Lions tour and he is a respected leader."

Lions manager Andy Irvine added: "I told the team in Hong Kong they were custodians of the red jersey. That responsibility is now with this group of players, and I am confident they will give their all against the Force. This is the first match of the tour in Australia, and the Lions are keen to make a winning start here."

British and Irish Lions team: L Halfpenny (Wales); T Bowe (Ireland), B O'Driscoll (Ireland, captain), M Tuilagi (England), G North (Wales); J Sexton (Ireland), C Murray (Ireland); C Healy (Ireland), R Best (Ireland), D Cole (England), A-W Jones (Wales), I Evans (Wales), T Croft (England), S O'Brien (Ireland), J Heaslip (Ireland).

Replacements: T Youngs (England), M Vunipola (England), M Stevens (England), G Parling (England), T Faletau (Wales), B Youngs (England), O Farrell (England), S Maitland (Scotland).

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