Warren Gatland: 'Sam Warburton fighting for starting spot'

We need to improve our finishing, says Lions wing Anthony Watson

We need to improve our finishing, says Lions wing Anthony Watson

Warren Gatland has warned skipper Sam Warburton that he may be overlooked for selection in the British and Irish Lions' first test meeting with New Zealand next weekend.

All six additions have been named on the Lions' bench for Tuesday's clash against the Chiefs in Hamilton, to keep the front-line stars fresh for Saturday's first Test against New Zealand.

Lions head coach Warren Gatland has suggested that New Zealand counterpart Steven Hansen's consistent mocking is a cover for an increasingly anxious figure prior to Saturday's opening Test in Auckland. Gatland will hope to see that continue against the Chiefs.

When his rugby career appeared nearly over, Donald cemented his place in New Zealand folklore when asked to captain the Chiefs against Wales past year and led them to a 40-7 victory.

All six of the additional players called up over the weekend by Gatland, meanwhile, feature on the bench having barely met the rest of the party.

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Spithill insisted nothing was off limits, and that included copying anything they could learn from Team NZ. During Race Four there was a moment of tension when it looked as though Team NZ might collide with Oracle.

Reserves: 16.Kristian Dacey, 17.Allan Dell, 18.Tomas Francis, 19.Cory Hill, 20.Alun Wyn Jones, 21.Gareth Davies, 22.Finn Russell, 23.Tommy Seymour.

But the fact they are in the midweek team, playing just four days before the first Test can not be ignored and Tommy Seymour's place on the bench on Tuesday suggests his chances of featuring against the All Blacks are slim.

"I'm a little bit surprised by Steve Hansen, who is normally pretty calm", Gatland said.

"Players have got to stay on form, be positive, confident".

"We're giving players a chance here from an attacking perspective".

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Gatland was born and spent his formative years in Waikato, on New Zealand's north island. The tactic of using scrumhalf Conor Murray to repeatedly kick into the box worked against the Maori on a dewy night in Rotorua but is thought less likely to succeed against the All Blacks.

Maybe the weather helped, for the Lions were the rain masters, but even so this was an impressive statement of intent, most obviously from the unrelentingly powerful setpiece play of the pack, but also in the accuracy of their breakdown work, a thick red line that conceded only one line break. The manner they turned the screw at scrum time, earning the tour's first penalty try, ensured they will start against the All Blacks.

Gatland instead complained about illegal blocking tactics by New Zealand teams.

"We've raised it with the referee already".

Leigh Halfpenny, who is going through return-to-play protocols after taking a bang to the head against the Maori All Blacks, looks to have secured the fullback spot but Gatland wants Liam Williams, who starts against the Chiefs on Tuesday, to push his claims. "It makes it hard to complete attacking opportunities".

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"If you listen to the ref mic, they were talking about it constantly through the game".

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