Rory Best to captain Lions again as XV named to face Hurricanes

Warren Gatland asks referees to clamp down on dangerous harassment of Conor Murray

George North and George Kruis will both feature in the final midweek game of the British and Irish Lions tour against the Hurricanes on Tuesday.

Irish hooker Rory Best will again captain the side as the Lions seek to bounce back from their first-Test loss to the All Blacks on Saturday.

There's also further chances for fellow Irish forwards Iain Henderson and CJ Stander, who start in the lock and at number eight, repectively.

Kruis is the only member of the Test 23 involved in the fixture, with his selection on the bench suggesting he is far from guaranteed to start the second Test this weekend.

North missed out on the matchday squad for Eden Park and is among a number of players seeking to advance their claims for a place in one of the remaining two Tests of the series.

Also hoping to further their prospects are Jack Nowell, who starts at full-back, lock Courtney Lawes and back-row forwards Justin Tipuric and Stander. "We are obviously hugely disappointed with the result last night but it is important to regroup," head coach, Warren Gatland, said. "We know there are a lot of players motivated to go out and get a result for the whole group.

“A few players put their hands up for selection from the Chiefs game and played their way into the Test team so they know there is another opportunity for them on Tuesday against the Super Rugby champions.”

Best, who will lead the side for the second time on this tour, will skipper the same forward pack that started in Hamilton, with Dan Biggar and Greig Laidlaw also continuing at halfback.

The All Blacks coach, Steve Hansen, has released the fullback Jordie Barrett, inside centre Ngani Laumape, winger Julian Savea and flanker Vaea Fifita to play for the Hurricanes on Tuesday.

New Zealand will be without the fullback Ben Smith and midfield back Ryan Crotty for the second Test against the Lions. Hansen said Crotty could be out for anything from two to four weeks with a hamstring injury. Smith was forced off with concussion on Saturday. “(He) failed the concussion tests so he is undergoing protocols and Damian McKenzie will come in for him,” Hansen said.

Gatland will ask the referees to clamp down on the All Blacks' "dangerous" harassment of Conor Murray's kicking game before the second Test after he was left frustrated with what he felt were deliberate tactics from the All Blacks diving "blindly" at Murray's standing leg whenever he launched a box kick in Saturday's 30-15 defeat to New Zealand. Munster furiously claimed Glasgow targeted Murray's standing leg during the Irish province's 14-12 Champions Cup win at Scotstoun in January 14th.

France’s Jerome Garces will referee Saturday’s second Lions Test against New Zealand in Wellington, with Gatland saying he will raise the issue in meetings with the officials later this week.

"There were a couple of times from Conor Murray where there was a charge down where someone dived at his legs," said Gatland. "And I thought that was a little bit dangerous. And after he's kicked he's been pushed a few times, and pushed to the ground. It's just making sure he's being looked after and protected and not harassed after he's box kicked. So we'll probably just get some clarity from the referee later in the week. We can't complain about the referee in terms of the way he controlled the match."

The All Blacks dominated the Lions in the tight-five exchanges in Saturday’s first Test in Auckland, and Gatland admitted he also has questions over the lineout maul officiating.

“There’s a few things I want some clarity over in terms of the sacking of the lineouts, just for me to get some understanding about that,” said Gatland. “But there are lots of things we need to concentrate on for ourselves, and fix. And we said all along that we weren’t coming here to bitch and moan about the refereeing and we needed to make sure that we played and looked after things ourselves and were in control of our own things.”

LIONS: Nowell; Seymour, Joseph, Henshaw, North; Biggar, Laidlaw; Marler, Best (capt), Cole; Henderson, Lawes; Haskell, Tipuric, Stander.

Replacements: Dacey, Dell, Francis, Hill, Kruis, Davies, Russell, Payne.

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