Kieran Read to lead All Blacks who also hand Rieko Ioane a first Test start against Lions

Kieran Read to lead All Blacks who also hand Rieko Ioane a first Test start against Lions

Kieran Read has recovered from injury and will captain New Zealand in Saturday's first Test against the British and Irish Lions.

The Crusaders number eight last played more than seven weeks ago, when he suffered a broken thumb while on Super Rugby duty.

But he is fit again to pack down in the All Blacks' back-row alongside Jerome Kaino and Sam Cane as New Zealand look to extend their long unbeaten run at Eden Park.

All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen has sprung a surprise on the left-wing, though, handing Rieko Ioane a first Test start instead of the more experienced Julian Savea.

Elsewhere, World Cup winner Sonny Bill Williams lines up in midfield with a fit-again Ryan Crotty, with Crotty replacing Anton Lienert-Brown following last week's 78-0 victory over Samoa.

New Zealand team to play the British and Irish Lions in the first Test at Eden Park, Auckland on Saturday

B Smith; I Dagg, R Crotty, S B Williams, R Ioane; B Barrett, A Smith; J Moody, C Taylor, O Franks, B Retallick, S Whitelock, J Kaino, S Cane, K Read (capt).

Replacements: N Harris, W Crockett, C Faumuina, S Barrett, A Savea, TJ Perenara, A Cruden or L Sopoaga, A Lienert-Brown.

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