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Warburton captain for Reds clash

Sam Warburton will make his tour bow when he captains the British and Irish Lions against Queensland Reds on Saturday.

Flanker Warburton, who missed the opening two games while he recovered from a knee injury, will pack down in the back row alongside his Wales team-mates Dan Lydiate and Toby Faletau.

Centre Manu Tuilagi and wing Tommy Bowe, who started against Western Force on Wednesday, also feature.

Tour skipper Warburton will lead a team seeking their third successive win, having racked up 128 points and 17 tries in defeating the Barbarians and Western Force, and he will become the 800th British and Irish Lion.

England's Owen Farrell, meanwhile, reclaims the number 10 shirt and will go head to head with Australian star Quade Cooper.

There are first starts on tour for scrum-half Ben Youngs, props Gethin Jenkins and Matt Stevens, hooker Tom Youngs and lock Geoff Parling.

Lions head coach Warren Gatland said: "Two wins and two victories is great, but those two matches are building blocks as we build towards the Test series.

"We always said we would give every player a start in the first three matches, and this team reflects that. It also provides us with the opportunity to continue to look at different combinations.

"For the Reds, this includes a new centre pairing and a different front-five. At the same time, we have several players playing their second matches on tour and some proven combinations starting the match."

British and Irish Lions team: S Hogg (Scotland); A Cuthbert (Wales), M Tuilagi (England), J Davies (Wales), T Bowe (Ireland); O Farrell (England), B Youngs (England); G Jenkins (Wales), T Youngs (England), M Stevens (England), R Gray (Scotland), G Parling (England), D Lydiate (Wales), S Warburton (capt, Wales), T Faletau (Wales).

Replacements: R Hibbard (Wales), M Vunipola (England), A Jones (Wales), P O'Connell (Ireland), J Tipuric (Wales), C Murray (Ireland), J Sexton (Ireland), G North (Wales).


From Belfast Telegraph