Warburton returns to captain Lions v Highlanders

Sam Warburton will lead the Lions on Tuesday

Sam Warburton will lead the Lions on Tuesday

Dan Biggar (Ospreys/Wales) #821 9.

Biggar feels he now trails Johnny Sexton and Owen Farrell in the fly-half race - but coach Andy Farrell believes the Ospreys man has been too hard on himself. Confirming that he is still assessing his options with who stands out among the defensive line, Farrell has laid out the challenge to do the job that he did for England at the 2007 Rugby World Cup and that Wales centre Jamie Roberts has often done for Warren Gatland sides in leading the defensive effort when the opposition have the ball.

"I'll be honest with Gats and he will be honest with me".

More than once, they combined to carve open their hosts and their tactical kicking was spot on. "Dan Biggar has been smashing me all morning, so he's fine and ready to go tomorrow night", added Farrell with a smile. "It's going to be about what I can do for the team and hopefully that comes off".

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The Lions play the Highlanders in Dunedin on Tuesday on the back of beating the Crusaders 12-3 in Christchurch. He was reluctant to come off; in his own words he quite "forcibly" stated his wishes to continue, but it was a case of "better safe than sorry".

The Lions appeared dominant at the coal face, save for one scrum where the hosts got the edge, resulting in an extended bout of jostling between the two packs.

Defensively, it was a huge shift for the players, with the Crusaders held scoreless for the first time in 38 games.

Instead they have listened to local complaints about scrummaging, refereeing and boring tactics with quiet enjoyment and Farrell's nonchalant response - "They have to talk about something" - sums up the squad's collective view that deeds rather than words will define this tour.

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"In that first week you're still really getting to know the guys; there's definitely a real feeling in the squad; not only on the pitch but off the pitch which I think is more important".

Crusaders coach Scott Robertson believes the All Blacks will be better equipped than his team were to cope with trench warfare from the British and Irish Lions.

Lions assistant coach Andy Farrell said: "The Highlanders have scored 50-odd tries this season, averaging over four tries a game, so we know the type of game that they want to play". Conor Murray looked back to his best, with his kicking putting the Crusaders back three under constant pressure.

Beneath the fixed roof of the Forsyth Barr stadium - the atmospheric modern replacement for the old, forbidding "House of Pain" at Carisbrook - the priority will be to counter the Highlanders' fast-tempo style which bears similarities to what awaits in the Tests. This said, there are a number of players that will want to take this opportunity and make one last push for the test side. I thought the most pleasing thing was keeping them down to three points. We're having plenty of walkthroughs and making sure we're ready. "At this level when you explain something to a group and you think you're talking to just a certain minority, the rest of them tend to listen as well and pick it up".

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