The British and Irish Lions arrived in Whangarei on day three of their tour of New Zealand to prepare for their opening match, where brutal weather conditions greeted them on arrival at Toll Stadium.
Warren Gatland’s side will face the New Zealand Provincial Barbarians on Saturday night and will hope to begin their 10-match tour with a comfortable victory against a side that is, on paper, the weakest of the eight teams that they will come up against over the six-week series.
Having spent the first two days in Auckland since their arrival on Wednesday, the Lions left the city to venture north to schools and hospitals to meet with young children around the Northland area.
There was a treat for members of the squad as they were greeted with a Haka, performed by school pupils, before they made their way to Toll stadium for the captain’s run and one last training session before the action begins.
There was also news of a change in the squad that will face the New Zealand Provincial Barbarians, with Jared Payne suffering a calf strain during Thursday’s training session at QBE Stadium, so Elliot Daly is added to the matchday 23 and takes Payne’s place among the replacements’ bench.
It means that Daly becomes just the second player ever to play for and against the Lions, following in the footsteps of former England centre Riki Flutey, who featured for Wellington against them in 2005 before taking part in the 2009 tour of South Africa.
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