Scots trio to start Lions opener

Scotland trio Stuart Hogg, Greig Laidlaw and Tommy Seymour will all start the British & Irish Lions' tour opener this Saturday against the New Zealand Provincial Barbarians.
 
The starting XV includes six 2013 Lions and a further three on the bench, with the side captained by Sam Warburton.

Commenting on his first team selection Warren Gatland said: “We are all hugely excited about the first game on tour, it’s a great opportunity for the starting XV and the whole match day squad to lay down a marker and get the tour off to a good start.

“We have named a side that showcases a strong combination of experience and youth and we are really looking forward to Saturday.

“We are lucky to have some real leaders in the squad and to be able to select them for this match in the likes of Rory Best, Alun Wyn Jones and Greig Laidlaw."

Like Seymour, Laidlaw will make his first outing in the famour red shirt this Saturday and is keen to impress this weekend.

“It’s good to be finally here and good to get our feet on the ground,” he said.

“Everybody is getting excited now, and rightly so because it is a big challenge ahead.

“We have trained well and trained hard over the last couple of weeks and all we want to do now as a playing group is take the field.

“For the players pulling on the jersey it is a massive opportunity for us. To kick the tour off with a win is what we are going out there to do.”

He added: “We don’t know a huge amount in terms of their (Barbarians) style of play, they will come together and give it a go because that is the Baa Baas way."

BRITISH & IRISH LIONS SQUAD TO FACE NZ PROVINCIAL BARBARIANS

15. Stuart Hogg – Glasgow Warriors, Scotland, #783

14. Anthony Watson – Bath Rugby, England
13. Jonathan Joseph – Bath Rugby, England
12. Ben Te’o – Worcester Warriors, England
11. Tommy Seymour – Glasgow Warriors, Scotland

10. Johnny Sexton – Leinster, Ireland, #791
9. Greig Laidlaw – Gloucester Rugby, Scotland

1. Joe Marler – Harlequins, England
2. Rory Best – Ulster, Ireland, #793
3. Kyle Sinckler – Harlequins, England
4. Alun Wyn Jones – Ospreys, Wales, #761
5. Iain Henderson – Ulster, Ireland
6. Ross Moriarty – Gloucester Rugby, Wales
7. Sam Warburton – Cardiff Blues, Wales, #800
8. Taulupe Faletau – Bath Rugby, Wales, #779

Replacements
16. Jamie George – Saracens, England
17. Mako Vunipola – Saracens, England, #787
18. Tadhg Furlong – Leinster, Ireland
19. George Kruis – Saracens, England
20. Justin Tipuric – Ospreys, Wales, #786
21. Rhys Webb – Ospreys, Wales
22. Owen Farrell – Saracens, England, #780
23. Jared Payne – Ulster, Ireland

# denotes Lions number