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Ulster's Lions set to roar in Tour opener



Starting role: Rory Best

Starting role: Rory Best

Getty Images

Starting role: Rory Best

All three of Ulster's Lions are set to be involved in the tour's first game against the New Zealand Provincial Barbarians on Saturday morning (8.35am KO).

With the province's season finishing earlier than many in the 41-man panel, the trio were ideally placed to make an instant impression with head coach Warren Gatland, and both Rory Best and Iain Henderson have nailed down starting spots.

Jared Payne, back in his homeland after the touring party landed in Auckland yesterday, will provide back-line cover in the 23 jersey with former Ulsterman Tommy Seymour on the wing.

"We are all hugely excited about the first game on tour," said Gatland. "It's a great opportunity for the whole match day squad to lay down a marker and get the tour off to a good start.

"We are lucky to have some real leaders in the squad and to be able to select them for this match in the likes of Rory Best, Alun Wyn Jones and Greig Laidlaw."

Belfast Telegraph