The Lions enjoyed a tough but very worthwhile challenge against the Hurricanes this morning in their final warm-up game of the tour.
The Tourists appeared to be coasting towards a comfortable victory in the Westpac Stadium in Wellington but a late sin bin saw the game turn on its head and the game ended 31-31.
It was one of the best team performances of the tour thus far for most of the game and the whole group stated serious cases for a call-up but two men stood out from the rest. Ireland’s Iain Henderson and England’s Courtney Lawes both put in superb showings following their omission from the first Test squad.
Despite a late and somewhat harsh yellow card for Henderson, the Ulsterman was the standout performer but Lawes’ withdrawal early in the second half suggests he’ll be the more likely addition to the party.
Lions fans on Twitter are convinced the pair should be a part of the team to try and turn the series around against the All Blacks this weekend.
Surely the wrong second row off no?! Lawes has been good but Henderson must be in the Test 23 mix…
— Brian O'Driscoll (@BrianODriscoll) June 27, 2017
Iain Henderson is having a huge game. Making a real case not just to be in the Test 23 but the starting XV. ?
— Simon Thomas (@simonrug) June 27, 2017
Iain Henderson is some horse of a man
— Shane Lowry (@ShaneLowryGolf) June 27, 2017
Henderson in full mad dog mode. Hv no idea how u don't include him on Saturday. Hellish decisions to be made at lock
— Brendan gallagher (@gallagherbren) June 27, 2017
Courtney Lawes off after 54 minutes suggests he's in the Test squad on Saturday. Iain Henderson surely has to be too.
— Murray Kinsella (@Murray_Kinsella) June 27, 2017
If there is any justice Iain Henderson will be in the 23 for 2nd Test. Lock-back row, they go without the mighty Ulsterman at their peril.
— Peter Jackson (@JackoRugby) June 27, 2017
Henderson and Lawes at 4 & 5 with Itoje at 6 would be worth trying out on Saturday. #LionsNZ2017
— Adam Clarke (@AdamClarke501) June 27, 2017
Lawes immense so far this tour. Best he's ever played. Nowell back too.
— David Flatman (@davidflatman) June 20, 2017
Lawes is the man to leave the field. I'd be tempted to put Lawes at 6 on Sat, Kruis & Itoje 2nd row, Hendo on bench.
— Nick Heath (@nickheathsport) June 27, 2017
Courtney Lawes putting a huge claim for a test spot. He must be shattered at HT with the amount of carries and tackles he's making #HURvBIL
— Gary Snoad (@GazzaaaS13) June 27, 2017
Lawes and Itoje with Hendo off the bench on Saturday #form
— Covfefe O'Donoghue (@ColmODonoghue) June 27, 2017
Gatland will release his selection for the game on Thursday morning at 01:30 GMT. All eyes will be on the second and back row with Sam Warburton and Maro Itoje expected to make a return to the team.