Wholesale changes for Lions but Gatland still wants strong show

BRITISH and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland has changed his entire starting XV for tomorrow’s match with Western Force, but challenged his players to replicate the showing in Saturday’s 59-8 victory over Barbarians.

Irishman Brian O’Driscoll will captain the Lions for the sixth time in his career, in the absence of Sam Warburton who will miss the game as he continues to recover from a knee injury, slower than expected.

Gatland said: “This is a completely new team, and the challenge is to ensure that the selected players continue the on-field progress we are seeking.”

Manu Tuilagi, Dan Cole, Ian Evans, and Ireland pair Rory Best and Sean O’Brien, will be debuting for the Lions. But Ireland full-back Rob Kearney is still out with a hamstring injury.