Smith to captain Barrett trio against Samoa

As for his worldwide allegiance, Brewer said if he ever makes to test level it would be a case of "whoever comes knocking first".

The All Blacks and Lions also have in common a strong sense of respect for their opponents this weekend.

The All Blacks and Lions have something in common in the weekend matches as both will start under new captains.

Sexton partners his Ireland team-mate Jonny Sexton at half-back and Gatland does have Jonathan Davies back from a head blow suffered in Christchurch and the Welshman partners Ben Te'o at centre. Leigh Halfpenny starts at full-back.

Pres College in Cork, the Munster underage teams, his club side at Cork Con, the senior Munster squad, Ireland on the 2013 tour of North America.

Scrum-half Greig Laidlaw of Gloucester Rugby and Wasps' Elliot Daly complete the bench with Biggar.

Hansen said: "The Samoans are always a challenge and will play with a high level of physicality and skill".

"One of the reasons we selected Sam as captain of the squad is that he is an absolute quality player", Gatland said.

"The boys know they are playing the best team in the world and they know if they don't get it right, it's going to be a long day". You might get one or two or you might get three.

"I feel pretty confident".

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"He's well aware of the competition that's there at the moment", he said.

The Maori All Blacks is a historic team in New Zealand which dates back to 1888, then called the New Zealand Natives, and were the first to wear the famous black jersey.

However, according to Cooper, McKenzie is the sort of game-breaker the Maori All Blacks need in the face of the Lions' line-speed on defence.

All that could be about to chance, at least according to All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen.

Ash Dixon captains the side from hooker as part of a pack which includes Elliot Dixon, Liam Messam and Akira Ioane.

Rippa Rugby World Cup Qualifying Tournaments have been held across Western, Central and Eastern Bay of Plenty seeing over the last three weeks, as more than 1500 kids across the two grades (years three and four and years five and six) competed to secure a spot in Friday's Baywide Rippa Rugby World Cup.

The tourists are looking to bounce back after their second defeat of the tour and Gatland's selection against the Maori team is expected to be close to his first-choice side.

Now the 27-year-old will captain the Lions against the Maori All Blacks in Rotorua on Saturday, where a fine showing could secure him a starting berth in the first Test against New Zealand on June 24.

Every game of the tour will be shown on Sky Sports 1 at 8:35am BST (7.35pm local) and live on radio on Talk Sport.

  • Regina Holmes