Liam Williams passed fit for Lions; Unchanged side named for Saturday's Test

Liam Williams passed fit for Lions; Unchanged side named for Saturday's Test

Full-back Liam Williams has been passed fit to start in an unchanged British and Irish Lions side for Saturday's Test series decider against New Zealand, Lions team management have announced.

Head Coach Warren Gatland said: “It is not very often on a Lions Tour that you get to pick the same 23 for the following game.

“We felt we should reward the players for the result and the courage that they showed in coming from behind from 18-9 down, digging themselves out of a hole and then finishing strongly in that last 10 to 15 minutes.

“There are some players who are pretty disappointed not to be selected and I understand that. It is what you would expect from competitive top athletes, they back themselves. But we have stressed all along that this is not all about the 23 players but about everyone in the squad – they have put their disappointment behind them and are helping the match day squad prepare the best they can for the Test match.

“We are all aware of how big this game is and we are expecting a backlash from the All Blacks. But the pleasing thing about the 2nd Test is just how strong we were in the last 10 or 15 minutes, in terms of energy and enthusiasm so we still feel there is another level in us."

Lions XV: Liam Williams, Anthony Watson, Jonathan Davies , Owen Farrell, Elliot Daly, Johnny Sexton, Conor Murray; Mako Vunipola, Jamie George, Tadhg Furlong, Maro Itoje, Alun Wyn Jones, Sam Warburton, Sean O’Brien, Taulupe Faletau.

Replacements: Ken Owens, Jack McGrath, Kyle Sinckler, Courtney Lawes, CJ Stander, Rhys Webb, Ben Te’o, Jack Nowell.

All Blacks XV: Jordie Barrett, Israel Dagg, Anton Lienert-Brown, Ngani Laumape, Julian Savea, Beauden Barrett, Aaron Smith; Joe Moody, Codie Taylor, Owen Franks, Brodie Retallick, Samuel Whitelock, Jerome Kaino, Sam Cane, Kieran Read.

Replacements: Nathan Harris, Wyatt Crockett, Charlie Faumuina, Scott Barrett, Ardie Savea, TJ Perenara, Aaron Cruden, Malakai Fekitoa.

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