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Warren Gatland Explains Why He Chose Peter O’Mahony To Captain The Lions Against Maori All Blacks

Rotorua , New Zealand - 15 June 2017; Peter O'Mahony, right, and head coach Warren Gatland during a British and Irish Lions press conference at the Matariki Cultural Centre in Rotorua, New Zealand. (Photo By Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Ireland’s Peter O’Mahony will become the latest player to captain the Lions in this weekend’s clash against the Maori All Blacks.

With regular captain Sam Warburton on the bench and none of Alun Wyn Jones, Rory Best or Ken Owens starting either, the Munster flanker has been handed the armband for this Saturday’s fixture in Rotoura.

Speaking to the media ahead of the clash, coach Warren Gatland has explained why O’Mahony was the perfect choice to lead the Lions in the match, pointing to his record as Munster skipper as reason enough to trust him:

“Peter is a proven captain with Munster who never takes a backward step and we believe that those leadership qualities will serve us well on Saturday against a quality and determined Maori All Blacks team.”

Christchurch , New Zealand - 10 June 2017; Peter O'Mahony of the British & Irish Lions following the match between Crusaders and the British & Irish Lions at AMI Stadium in Christchurch, New Zealand. (Photo By Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Gatland is determined to secure a positive result against the Maori All Blacks this weekend as the first Test against Steve Hansen’s world champions draws closer. Although he took some positives from this week’s 23-22 defeat to Highlanders, there are still some areas of the team that can be improved upon before the main Tests begin:

“We were obviously disappointed with the loss against the Highlanders and realise that we need to improve in several areas, including our discipline, but we feel that overall we are building well towards the Test matches.

“Every game is a big challenge, which is what we wanted, and this is an experienced Lions team with eight of the starting 15 involved in the last Test in Australia in 2013.”

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Author: The PA Team

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