Sam Warburton fit to lead Lions against Highlanders

Sam Warburton fit to lead Lions against Highlanders”

Hogg sustained the injury in Saturday's 12-3 win over Super Rugby leaders Crusaders when he collided with team-mate Conor Murray chasing his own kick.

"We're still waiting on a report back on Stuart Hogg, so we'll get that later this afternoon", said defence coach Andy Farrell today. "We'll wait for the outcome but I would think at this moment in time, we've got a pretty big squad and we've got a lot of people in place to cover different positions".

Warburton will captain the test lineup and his absence from the team that beat the Crusaders was a slight disruption to the selection process.

And with that Sinckler has alluded - unknowingly - to the fascination of seeing the Lions play the Highlanders under the roof in Dunedin on what must be the fastest, driest track in world rugby. The problem, of course, is there are doubts which persist over whether that is the case.

The last time the Lions were in town in 2005, they played at Carisbrook - the ground nicknamed "the house of pain".

Despite being the only other worldwide captain in the squad, the reality is that he was the presumed third-in-line for the Test scrum-half position before the tour began. We've got to remember the first Test is not the be-all and end-all.

"I'll be honest with Gats and he will be honest with me". With two more demanding fixtures against the NZ Maori and the Chiefs also preceding the first Test with the All Blacks at Eden Park, Warren Gatland has made a point of ensuring every player feels at least vaguely in the frame for Test recognition. And if I don't need anything more then I'll obviously let him know that with a good performance. They've got another two or three games before the Test so hopefully they can get some combinations working.

Ospreys and Wales team-mates Rhys Webb and Dan Biggar are in the halves.

It's not often the Highlanders turn to their arch-rivals to the north for help but conquering the British and Irish Lions calls for special measures. We are professional players and we take our preparation very seriously.

"It's always nice to win and the manor that we did is great".

What was so effective against the Crusaders may not work against a team that will be confident they will still be able to offload out of the Lions rush defence and counter attack from deep if the Lions kick as much as they did on Saturday night.

Ireland's O'Brien is the man likely to come in for him again in the opening Test in Auckland if Warburton misses out.

The British & Irish Lions tour is approaching the rugby equivalent of Amen Corner.

"When I play well and I am match-fit, I am aggressive in the tackle, I'll contribute handful of good carries, and you become a lineout option. I guess I have to deliver in that area on Tuesday".

Only All Blacks Lima Sopoaga and Waisake Naholo, and injury cover Liam Coltman, have been released to face the Lions.

Scotland ticked off the first leg with a 34-15 win over Italy in Singapore.

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