British and Irish Lions video diary: Day one Sam Warburton gets traditional Maori welcome as squad arrive

The Lions captain was welcomed by performing a Hongi upon arrival

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The Independent Online

The British and Irish Lions arrived in New Zealand on Wednesday after a two-day flight that included stops in Dubai and Melbourne, with the squad put through their paces in the form of a gym session after a series of welcomes at Auckland Airport.

Led through the terminal by captain Sam Warburton, the Lions were first greeted by a Maori Powhiri, a ceremony involving dancing, singing, speeches and a Hongi, which Warburton participated in despite the presence of his “big nose”, as he joked about afterwards.

Then came the second welcoming in the form of the global media and the British and Irish Lions fans that had already gathered inside the airport, with the likes of Warburton, Taulupe Faletau and Ben Te’o stopping off to speak to those who have already made the long trip to New Zealand to support the side.

Attentions have already turned to the squad announcement for the opening game against the New Zealand Provincial Barbarians, which takes place in Whangerei on Saturday, with Warren Gatland announcing his side on Thursday morning local time [8pm Wednesday BST].

Join us tomorrow when we’ll be attending the first full Lions training sessions at ANZ Stadium, ahead of the first game of the 2017 British and Irish Lions tour.

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