First Test: Lions player profiles

The 15 tourists tasked with inflicting a first defeat on All Blacks in Eden Park since 1994

As the British and Irish Lions prepare to face New Zealand in three tests, take a look at the numbers behind the 2017 tour so far. Video: David Dunne

15 Liam Williams

Age: 26. Height: 6’2”. Weight: 87kg (13st 10lbs)

His ability to find holes in opposing defences earns him the jersey and probably his excellent performances for Wales against the All Blacks last year.

14 Anthony Watson


Age: 23. Height: 6’. Weight: 94kg (14st 11lbs)

He was won the battle for the right wing on the strength of a couple of impressive performances both at wing and fullback. He will provide a sharp cutting edge.

13 Jonathan Davies

Age: 29. Height: 6’1” Weight: 103kg (16st 3lbs).

His coach has put faith in his big match temperament and the team will need ‘Fox’ to replicate the form he showed in the test series in Australia in 2013.

Jonathan Davies of the Lions offloads the ball during win over the Maori All Blacks in Rotorua. Photo: David Rogers/Getty Images

12 Ben Te’o

Age: 30. Height: 6’2”. Weight: 106kg (16st 9lbs)

A strong, physical presence with the ability to get his hands free through the tackle and get over the gain-line, attributes that are fundamental to the Lions’ game-plan.

11 Elliot Daly

Age: 24. Height: 6’0”. Weight: 94kg (14st 11lbs)

Gift player, equally at home in the centre, the intelligence with which he reads the game complements the physical qualities, like strength, footwork, pace and that siege gun left foot.

10 Owen Farrell

Age: 25. Height: 6’1”. Weight: 93kg (14st 9lbs)

He was in the box seat prior to his injury based on form but then Johnny Sexton produced a superb display against the Maori. Farrell has the ability to thrive but that challenge reaches a new pitch on Saturday.

Owen Farrell practices his kicking at Eden Park on Thursday. Photo: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

9 Conor Murray

Age: 28. Height: 6’2”. Weight: 94kg (14st 11lbs)

One of the most important and influential players going into the test series, his game management, decision making and defending mark him out as a crucial to the tourists chances of success.

1 Mako Vunipola

Age: 26. Height: 6’. Weight: 121kg (19st)

He is in the running for player of the tour so far, powerful in his carrying, immoveable in the scrum and a heavy hitter in defence.

Mako Vunipola is tackled during the clash with Crusaders. Photo: David Rogers/Getty Images

2 Jamie George

Age: 26. Height: 6’ Weight: 110kg (17st 4lbs)

He was the choice of many to be a potential impact replacement off the bench in the test series but has won the starting role based on form and his all-round game.

3 Tadhg Furlong

Age: 24. Height: 6’1”. Weight: 123kg (19st 5lbs)

An anchor in the scrum, a flying buttress in possession, someone who racks up plenty of tackles, his energy levels are immense.

4 Alun Wyn Jones

Age: 31. Height: 6’6”. Weight: 118kgs (18st 8lbs)

Captained the Lions in the final atest four years ago in Australia and brings ability, experience and a fiery competitive edge. His work-rate will be important as will be coordinating the lineout and driving maul.

Alun Wyn Jones of the Lions leads the team off the pitch after their clash with the Highlanders. Photo: David Rogers/Getty Images

5 George Kruis

Age: 27. Height: 6’6”. Weight: 117kg (18st 5lbs)

He’ll run the Lions lineout, something he has discharged to great effect so far on tour and this comes in a footballing package that contains an outstanding rugby player.

6 Peter O’Mahony (capt)

Age: 27. Height: 6’3”. Weight: 108kg (17st)

The ultimate competitor, his elevation to captain, is a reflection of the standing he has within the squad on and off the pitch and the qualities he possesses as a player for this special challenge.

Peter O’Mahony at Eden Park during the Captain’s Run. Photo: David Rogers/Getty Images

7 Sean O’Brien

Age: 30. Height: 6’2”. Weight: 108kg (17st)

The more ferocious the collisions the more he appears to relish the environment. If the Lions are going to get over the gain-line and slow down New Zealand ruck ball then he’ll be centrally involved.

8 Talupe Faletau

Age: 26. Height: 6’4”. Weight: 109kg (17st 2lbs)

He’s been excellent in the games to date, a super athlete, who carries ball, offloads, supports and as he had demonstrated possesses a keen intelligence that allows him to be where he’s most needed.

You can follow all of the action from Eden Park on our liveblog from 7.45am on Saturday morning (kick off: 8.35am).

John O'Sullivan

John O'Sullivan

John O'Sullivan is an Irish Times sports writer