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Warburton back to lead the Lions in Brisbane

06 June 2013

  • Youngs brothers, Geoff Parling and Matt Stevens also make first starts
  • Manu Tuilagi switches to outside centre and partners Jonathan Davies
Sam Warburton and Geoff Parling

Photo: Getty Images

British and Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton will make his long-awaited first appearance on the tour when he leads the side in Saturday's clash with the Reds.

A knee injury meant Warburton was forced to sit out the comprehensive wins over the Barbarians and the Western Force.

But having seen Justin Tipuric and Sean O'Brien thrive in his absence, Warburton will now pull on the No. 7 jersey for the first time.

Gethin Jenkins also plays his first match on the tour, however Ireland full-back Rob Kearney remains missing due to a hamstring injury.

Head coach Warren Gatland has retained Manu Tuilagi and Tommy Bowe from the team that thumped the Western Force 69-17 last time out. Tuilagi switches to his more favoured No 13 jersey, though, with Jonathan Davies starting at inside centre.

Stuart Hogg gets another chance to impress at full-back, while England duo Owen Farrell and Ben Youngs team up at half-back and Alex Cuthbert starts on the wing.

Youngs is joined in the side by his brother Tom, who makes his first start of the tour in alongside Matt Stevens and Jenkins, with Geoff Parling also promoted after a scoring cameo off the bench.

Parling partners Paul O'Connell in the second row, with Dan Lydiate and Toby Faletau joining Warburton in the back row.

British and Irish Lions side to play Queensland Reds on Saturday, June 8 (kick-off 10:30am BST): 15. Stuart Hogg, 14. Alex Cuthbert, 13. Manu Tuilagi, 12. Jonathan Davies, 11. Tommy Bowe, 10. Owen Farrell, 9. Ben Youngs; 1. Gethin Jenkins, 2. Tom Youngs, 3. Matt Stevens, 4. Richie Gray, 5. Geoff Parling, 6. Dan Lydiate, 7. Sam Warburton (c), 8. Toby Faletau.

Replacements: 16. Richard Hibbard, 17. Mako Vunipola, 18. Adam Jones, 19. Paul O'Connell, 20. Justin Tipuric, 21. Conor Murray, 22. Jonathan Sexton, 23. George North.