The starting XV: Who should start for the Lions in the first test?

Warren Gatland and his coaching staff would have learnt a lot since the Lions’ opening victory against the Provincial Union on the 3rd of June. Three victories from five games point to an indifferent tour for the Northern Hemisphere side; who have continually butchered chances, and lacked discipline in the most crucial parts of the 80 minutes.

However, there was a great deal of improvement in the victory over the Māori All Blacks; as Gatland’s men continue to look more like a cohesive unit, with some personnel giving the coaching staff a selection headache in the bid to start the first test.

With some combinations still seemingly undecided, there is a chance for a group of the touring players to put their hands up in the final warm-up game against the Chiefs. Still, Gatland and co. must have a pretty clear idea of their starting XV, and these are Lions players who should head into the first test as starters against the All Blacks:

This side looks capable of beating any, but it is the greatest side in the world that the Lions face. The likes of Peter O’Mahony and Kyle Sinckler have hugely impressed this summer, but may fall just short in starting this Saturday.

If this side control the game at their own pace, and manage to boss the set pieces, they could begin with victory in Auckland. The Northern Hemisphere side will take massive confidence from the game the game against the Maoris, but still go into the first test as underdogs; a factor which will perhaps benefit the touring players this coming Saturday.

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