British and Irish Lions scrumhalf Conor Murray kicks the ball clear of danger during the Lions’ first Test match against the All Blacks. Photograph: David Gray/Reuters

Lions coach concerned after scrumhalf targeted during first Test defeat in Auckland

 Rieko Ioane   scores a try for New Zealand as a helpless  Anthony Watson of the Lions looks on  at Eden Park  in Auckland. Photograph:  Fiona Goodall/Getty

O’Brien’s try threw the visitors a lifeline but New Zealand’s class told long before the end

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen “Ever since Adam was a cowboy, if the tight five do the job everyone else can play.” Photo: Getty Images

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen happy for his side to get ‘down and dirty’ if required

 Lions’ captain Peter O’Mahony speaks to referee Jaco Peyper during the game. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

Lions coach rues missed opportunities while players frustrated with referee

Aaron Smith celebrates Rieko Ioane scoring their second try. Photograph:  Marty Melville/Inpho

Tourists have their moments but Lions unable to live with All Blacks pace

The red army celebrate after the victory over the Chiefs at Waikato Stadium in Hamilton, New Zealand. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

Realisation dawns that Lions pose powerful threat to all-conquering All Blacks machine

Lions outhalf Owen Farrell gets in some kicking practice at Eden Park  Stadium. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Conor Murray braced for the biggest game of his career at All Blacks’ fortress – Eden Park

Conor Murray during training at the QBE Stadium in Auckland. Photo: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

The 28-year-old says experience of Chicago can be drawn on but it’s a different game

Brian O’Driscoll (left) presents the jersey to Peter O’Mahony ahead of the first test against New Zealand on Saturday. O’Mahony will captain the side. Photograph: via Twitter

Former touring captain was chosen for the honour ahead of the first Test in Auckland

New Zealand’s Beauden Barrett: has the capacity to cause the Lions serious problems at Eden Park.  Photograph: David Davies/PA

Kiwis have the better strike moves and an ability to strike from anywhere at any time

British and Irish Lions Peter O’Mahony and Tadhg Furlong preparing for the first Test against New Zealand. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

‘These are the sort of days that you play rugby for’ says prop of his Lions Test debut

British and Irish Lions captain Peter O’Mahony receives a pass during a training session in Auckland. Photo: Peter Parks/Getty Images

The Munster man says that winning on Saturday comes above all else on tour

British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland during the press conference at the QBE Stadium, Auckland. Photo: David Davies/PA

Tourists’ coach says they are looking to take the game to the All Blacks with selection

Captain Peter O’Mahony speaks to the British & Irish Lions team before facing the Maori All Black. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Management pay tribute to Munster man’s role on and off the pitch for the Lions

Owen Farrell and Jonathan Sexton during Lions training. Photo: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Leigh Halfpenny has been left out of the side with Owen Farrell in place of Johnny Sexton

The All Blacks during training at Trusts Stadium, Auckland. Photo: Andrew Cornaga/Inpho

Rieko Ioane is also given his first Test start after impressing coach Steve Hansen

 CJ Stander is tackled by Tim Nanai Williams of the Chiefs  at Waikato Stadium in Hamilton, New Zealand. Photograph:  David Rogers/Getty Images

Impressive victory over Chiefs shows growing cohesion of the visiting squad

The Sexton-Farrell axis looks more of an option for the last 20 minutes or so. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

Peter O’Mahony still likely to captain Lions against All Blacks on Saturday

Lions’ head coach Warren Gatland takes to the pitch before the game. Photo: Billy Stickland/Inpho

‘We had quite a big sing song in the changing room. It was a good feeling,’ Gatland said

British and Irish Lions’ CJ Stander is tackled during the win in Hamilton. Photograph: David Davies/PA Wire.

Comfortable win unlikely to unduly alter the thinking of Gatland and his coaches for first test

Claims of unrest within the Lions squad will only unite them further. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Rumours of discontent, prompted by Steve Hansen among others, wide of the mark

Lions defence  Coach Andy Farrell with Johnny Sexton: “I think we’re going to have to take ourselves to a place that individually we’ve not been to before. But the boys realise that and are excited by that challenge.” Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Defence coach agrees Lions will have to raise their game to withstand New Zealand attack

CJ Stander in action against the Highlanders: “Midweek, in Test-week; you’re still putting on a jersey and you want to make your family proud and the boys around you proud.” Photograph: David Rodgers/Getty

Opportunity is still there to stake a claim for a starting place in upcoming Tests

British and Irish Lions defence coach Andy Farrell talks to the forwards during training. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

‘His department of defence has had a couple of impressive Saturday performances’

 Lions head coach Warren Gatland: “The frustrating thing for us is the amount of blocking that’s going on, the off-the-ball stuff.”  Photograph: INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Lions selection for Chiefs game gives strong pointers toward squad for first test

Conor Murray delivering one of his 10 kicks for the Lions during the win against Maori All Blacks. Photograph: Andrew Cornaga/Photosport/Inpho

‘We converted pressure into points, which was really pleasing,’ says Munster scrumhalf

Jonathan Sexton is tackled during the match between the New Zealand Maori and the British and Irish Lions in Rotorua, New Zealand, on Saturday. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

Lions starting XV against Maoris helps nail down bulk of match-day squad for first test

Peter O’Mahpny captained the Lions against the New Zealand Maori and could do so again in the first Test. Photograph: Hannah Peters/Getty

Warren Gatland names another new XV for Chiefs clash including five Irish players

Peter O’Mahony has confirmed the knee injury he picked up in the Lions’ win over the New Zealand Maori isn’t serious. Photograph: David Davies/PA

Captain Peter O’Mahony confirms knee injury which forced him off is not serious

Lions coach Warren Gatland has dismissed suggestions of division among his touring party. Photograph: David Davies/PA

Coach defends decision to call up players from touring Wales and Scotland squads

Lions scrumhalf Conor Murray with a box kick against the NZ Maori. Photograph: Inpho

On a sodden, foggy night in Rotorua, Warren Gatland’s team play the conditions perfectly

Ross Moriarty's Lions tour has been ended by injury. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

Ross Moriarty forced to withdraw from the remainder of the tour due to a nerve injury

Chiefs’ James Lowe celebrates a  try: “We’re bound by blood so there’s something a bit more in that. This is a team where you’re brothers before you put on this shirt, before you put on this fern.” Photograph: Marty Melville/Photosport/Inpho

Leinster-bound prospect mans fullback berth for Maori All Blacks on Saturday

The selection of Damian McKenzie of the Chiefs as outhalf for the New Zealand Maori looks like a signature selection. Photograph: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

Unofficial fourth Test given Irish intrigue with Peter O’Mahony as captain in Rotorua

Johnny Sexton kicks a penalty during the British & Irish Lions captain’s run, in the Rotorua International Stadium back pitches. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Game-time has allowed the Irish outhalf to rediscover his mojo according to Gatland

Steve Hansen: “We take this Test match seriously and respect Samoan rugby. They are a very good team and on their day can cause an upset.” Photograph: Andrew Cornaga/Inpho

Steve Hansen names a strong selection for run out against Pacific Islanders

Peter O’Mahony: “I don’t think I want to bring anything different. I just want to bring my game and try and play as well as I can.”  Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Gatland’s choice a fitting honour for the Munster stalwart after a difficult 12 months

British and Irish Lions warm up during training in Rotorua. Photo: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Warren Gatland will call up players from the two country’s squads touring in the vicinity

The Lions will be reacquainted with Rieko Ioane when they face the New Zealand Maori on Saturday. Photograph: Hannah Peters/Getty

Ash Dixon captains a strong side with just two uncapped Maori All Blacks on bench

Peter O’Mahony will captain the Lions in their key fixture against the New Zealand Maori. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

‘He just gave me a nod at breakfast, and fired it at me, and obviously I was delighted’

Warren Gatland has retained 11 of the starting XV which beat the Crusaders for Saturday’s clash with the New Zealand Maori. Photograph: David Davies/PA

Coach names 11 of the starting XV which beat the Crusaders for Saturday clash in Rotorua

 Peter O’Mahony of the Lions celebrating the win over the Crusaders. Photograph: Reuters

Johnny Sexton is re-united with Irish teammate Conor Murray at halfback for Lions

 Owen Farrell of the Lions misses a crucial penalty against the Highlanders watched by kicking coach Neil Jenkins at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin, New Zealand. Photograph:  David Rogers/Getty Images

Battle for place-kicking duties in the Test series against All-Blacks still up for grabs

Scott Barrett, Beauden Barrett and Jordie Barrett, the three brothers who are a part of the All Black squad. Photograph: Getty Images

Fullback Ben Smith will lead the side for the first time in the absence of Kieran Read

Brothers Jordie Barrett of the Hurricanes, Beauden Barrett of the Hurricanes and Scott Barrett of the Crusaders are all set to line up for the All Blacks against Samoa on Friday. Photograph: Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images

Friday’s game against Samoa will be a full dress rehearsal for Test match at Eden Park

Robbie Henshaw of the Lions is tackled by Malakai Fekitoa of the Highlanders  in Dunedin. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

Rory Best share pains as gap emerges between midweek and Saturday teams

Robbie henshaw, Iain Henderson and Jonathan Joseph react after losing to the Highlanders. Photograph: Reuters

Warren Gatland rues one that got away as Highlanders win 23-22 in Dunedin

The Highlanders’ Waisake Naholo  celebrates scoring his side’s first try against the Lions.  Photograph:  David Davies/PA Wire.

Highlanders edge a tense and physical battle in Dunedin with 23-22 victory

Stuart Hogg has been ruled out of the rest of the Lions tour with a fractured facial bone. Photograph: Kai Schwoerer/Getty

Full back sustained injury during win over Crusaders, no replacement called up yet

 It was interesting to hear Gatland speak so positively of O’Brien’s experience, chat and leadership off and on the pitch against the Crusaders. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

All eight loose forwards selected in the Lions squad could conceivably feature in the test series

Lions hookers Ken Owens and Rory Best practice their lineout throwing during the British & Irish Lions captain’s run held at the Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin, New Zealand. Photo: David Rogers/Getty Images

Tuesday’s clash with Highlanders offers one of last chances for fringe players to impress

 Iain Henderson: The Ulster lock will marry his fiancee just two days after he arrives back from the Lions tour.  Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

The Lions and Ulster lock is facing a busy summer on and off the pitch

Lions’ Stuart Hogg goes off with a blood injury with physio Prav Mathema during their win over the Crusaders. Photo: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Scot collided with Conor Murray’s elbow on Saturday and had to be removed from pitch

Rory Best: lines out for the Lions against the Highlanders in Dunedin on Tuesday. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho.

Three Ulster players named in team to take on Highlanders in Dunedin

Conor Murray makes a break during the Lions’ 12-3 win over the Crusaders in Christchurch. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images.

Scrumhalf links well with Owen Farrell to boss the game for the tourists

British and Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton who on Tuesday will play only his second game since early April. Photograph: David Davies/PA Wire

Jared Payne among starters against Highlanders in fullback role still up for grabs

 Lions scrumhalf Conor Murray  breaks with the ball during the match against the  Crusaders at AMI Stadium  in Christchurch. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

Former New Zealand and Lions coach impressed by Lions progress after Crusaders win

 Lions captain Sam Warburton will lead the side against the Highlanders on Tuesday on his return from an ankle injury. Photograph:  David Davies/PA Wire

Captain will start against Highlanders; Jared Payne to line up at fullback on Tuesday

Lions head coach Warren Gatland: ‘There’s been a lot of criticism and people have written the tour off already after two games’. Photo:  David Rogers/Getty Images

‘Tonight was another step up but there is still a lot to work on,’ Lions coach said afterwards

Lions scrumhalf  Conor Murray is tackled during the tour match against the Crusaders at the AMI Stadium in Christchurch. Photograph: David Davies/PA Wire

Owen Farrell slots over four penalties to secure much-needed victory in Christchurch

Seán O’Brien during Lions training ahead of their clash with the Crusaders. Photo: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

‘I’ll just go for as long as I can when I get out there, the lungs will be burning I’m sure’

CJ Stander rises above the mountains during Lions training on Friday. Photo: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

While progress is continuing after the Christchurch earthquakes, it is slow so far

 Peter O’Mahony will make his first start of the Lions tour when he faces the Crusaders on Saturday.   Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Super Rugby’s leaders have cream of the All Blacks at their disposal in Christchurch

Conor Murray and Owen Farrell will make their first start of the British & Irish Lions tour against  the Crusaders. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

First choice half-back pairing have come a very long way since the last Lions tour

Conor Murray and Joe Marler during Lions training. Murray will make his debut in Saturday’s clash against the Crusaders. Photo: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Conor Murray, Sean O’Brien, Peter O’Mahony and Tadhg Furlong the four Irish starters

Blues’ Ihaia West scores the winning try against the British & Irish Lions at Eden Park in Auckland. Photograph: Peter Meecham/Inpho/Photosport

Tourists could and should have won game decided by Ihaia West’s stunning late try

The Lions’ Jack McGrath  is tackled by James Parsons of the Auckland Blues  at Eden Park. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty  Images)

Lions debutant still believes squad are building steadily for the bigger tests ahead

Warren Gatland takes shelter during a downpour prior to the match between the Auckland Blues and the British & Irish Lions at Eden Park. Photo: David Rogers/Getty Images

‘I thought it was a step up on Saturday but there are a few areas that we need to tidy up’

Ihaia West of the Blues celebates as he runs in to score a try during their win over the British and Irish Lions at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand. Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images

A late try from Ihaia West gave the Super Rugby side a famous victory over the tourists

Robbie Henshaw is looking forward to taking on Sonny Bill Williams on Wednesday. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Robbie Henshaw looking foward to joining Jared Payne in midfield against Sonny Bill

Dave Ellis joined the Blues after three-and-a-half years as Connacht skills coach. Photograph: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty

A nomadic lifestyle has seen skills coach pitch up in Auckland after Galway glory

The players held a minute’s silence for the families of the victims in last Saturday night’s terrorist attacks in London. Photograph: Billy Stickland/INPHO

Meanwhile, Robbie Henshaw felt like he was back in school brushing up on his Irish

Brodie Retallick is the latest injury worry for New Zealand after he was ruled out of the Chiefs’ clash with the Highlanders on Friday night. Photograph: Andrew Cornaga/Inpho

Dane Coles a major concern for Lions Test series after struggling with concussion

Lions assistant and backs coach Rob Howley with head coach Warren Gatland. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty

Backs coach Rob Howley says tourists must adapt to frantic pace of southern hemisphere

Warren Gatland’s side head to Eden Park looking to build some momentum. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Warren Gatland’s tourists march on Eden Park needing to build some momentum

Tana Umaga’s Blues take on the Lions at Eden Park on Wednesday. Photograph: Hannah Peters/Getty

The Lions have played just one fixture in New Zealand but temperature is starting to rise

CJ Stander is set to make his Lions debut against the Blues on Wednesday. Photograph: David Roger/Getty

Fellow Auckland starter Jared Payne could quite easily have been playing for the Blues

Sonny Bill Williams has been named in the Blues starting XV for their clash with the Lions. Photograph: Hannah Peters/Getty

Sonny Bill Williams starts with 40,000 tickets already sold for Eden Park clash

Robbie Henshaw starts for the Lions against the Blues on Wednesday. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Robbie Henshaw and Jared Payne to start in Lions midfield at Eden Park on Wednesday

Ben Te’o in action against the New Zealand’s Provincial Barbarians during the Lions’ first game on tour. Photograph: Fiona Goodall/Getty Images for Specsavers

Thirty-year-old Aucklander will enjoy pitting himself against New Zealand’s best

 Jack Stratton of NZ Provincial Barbarians gets his pass away   during the game against the British & Irish Lions at the Toll Stadium in Whangarei, New Zealand. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images)

Captain Sam Warburton acknowledges the need for improvement after shaky first outing

British and Lions head coach Warren Gatland sings with the rest of the team in the meeting house during a Maori welcoming at Waitangi Treaty Grounds. Photograph: Getty Images

The Lions receive three Maori challenges upon arrival to Waitangi Treaty Grounds

British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland: “Look, it was a tough hit out for us but there were some positives and things to work on for us too.” Photograph: David Davies/PA Wire.

Lions coach focussing on the positives after tough hit out in New Zealand

Stuart Hogg is tackled by Jonah Lowe of the Barbarians. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Warren Gatland's rusty tourists given an almighty scare in Whangarei opener

Johnny Sexton: “I’ve got to concentrate on myself and bringing the best performances out of myself and see where that gets me.” Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Ireland outhalf not expecting any special treatment on Lions tour of New Zealand

The All Blacks expect Warren Gatland to stick with his familiar tactics. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Build-up to first tour match has been cordial with real hostilities to come

Kyle Sinckler scrums down with Sam Warbuton, Rory Best and Joe Marler during British and Irish Lions training in Auckland. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Rookie England prop has been soaking up knowledge from more experienced tourists

 Bryn Gatland  will face his father’s side when he lines out for the New Zealand Provincial Barbarian against the Lions. Photograph: Nic Bothma/EPA

New Zealand Provincial Barbarians could be a banana skin for opening game of tour

The Lions team warm up ahead of a training session held at the QBE Stadium in Auckland, New Zealand. Photo: David Rogers/Getty Images

The coach said he was unsurprised 78 per cent of Kiwis didn’t know any Lions players

British & Irish Lions head  coach Warren Gatland has named his first team of the tour. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Johnny Sexton, Rory Best and Iain Henderson will start against Provincial Barbarians

British & Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton accepts the Maori challenge on arrival at Auckland. Photograph: Inpho

‘Just win, I don’t care how we win. If we won every game 3-0 I’d bite your arm off’

The British and Irish Lions squad watch as a maori warrior leads a haka on their arrival at Auckland. Photograph: NZ Herald/PA

Gatland: ‘You’ve got to create harmony within this group, and we’ve a lot of players’

Conor Murray makes a break during the Guinness Pro 12 final against Scarlets at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Team must bring A-game to key tests but Rassie Erasmus’s side is clearly on right track

Dan Biggar: “The most important thing is not the battle for places but that we do everything on and off the field and back whoever is playing in all the games.” Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Three Lions outhalves pulling together despite fierce competition for pivotal 10 jersey

Munster’s Duncan Williams, Stephen Archer, Donnacha Ryan and Francis Saili dejected after the Pro12 defeat to Munster. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Poor performance in heavy Pro12 final defeat to Scarlets will not change view of season

Scarlets DTH Van der Merwe runs in for a try against Munster in the Guinness Pro12 final at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Guinness Pro12 final a bridge too far for Munster who lacked intensity and accuracy

Munster’s Ian Keatley takes some kicking practice at the Aviva Stadium on Friday. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Decider may not pack Aviva to the rafters, but it will bring two in-form teams together

All Black captain Kieran Read performs the haka during the International Test match between  New Zealand and Wales at Eden Park last June. Photograph: Phil Walter/Getty Images

All Blacks form and gruelling itinerary presents what seems an impossible task

The Lions in training ahead of the tour of New Zealand. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Gatland and company have ‘fingers crossed’ ahead of the Pro12 and Premiership finals

Tadhg Furlong and  Jack McGrath work with Lions scrum coach Graham Rowntree during a session at Carton House. Photograph:  Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Leinster prop admits week of hard training has been a tonic following Pro 12 defeat

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