Farrell focused on cementing Lions selection

SARACENS fly-half Owen Farrell is set to make his British and Irish Lions debut on Saturday and is determined to put in a performance that keeps his name at the forefront of coach Warren Gatland’s mind when it comes to Test selection.

Gatland has named Farrell to start at No10 against Barbarians in Hong Kong ahead of Ireland’s Jonny Sexton whom he outscored during the RBS Six Nations.

But the 49-year-old insisted his initial XV should give no clues as to who will be selected for the first Test against Australia next month, with all 37 squad members to start at least one of the first three tour matches.

But Farrell is determined to make the most of his chance to impress.

“You have to perform as well as you can,” he said. “In terms of playing, you might get some more time, which will only put you in a good place.

“Jonny Sexton’s been outstanding all year. I’m taking it one day at a time and just making sure I can be the best I can be.

“If needed, I would fit in anywhere. All I want to do is put the shirt on and get ready to play.”

Paul O’Connell will captain the Lions in the absence of the injured Sam Warburton.

Farrell’s Saracens team-mate Mako Vunipola is the only other English player named in the starting line-up.

LIONS V BARBARIANS

S Hogg, A Cuthbert, J Davies, J Roberts, S Maitland, O Farrell, M Phillips; M Vunipola, R Hibbard, A Jones, R Gray, P O’Connell, D Lydiate, J Tipuric, T Faletau. Replacements: T Youngs, C Healy, M Stevens, A W Jones, J Heaslip, C Murray, J Sexton, G North.