2 Jun 2017

Payne out of Lions opener

9:58 am on 2 June 2017

The British and Irish Lions' New Zealand-born centre Jared Payne has been ruled out of tomorrow's tour opener against the New Zealand Provincial Barbarians with a calf strain.

The Lions' New Zealand born centre Jared Payne.

The Lions' New Zealand born centre Jared Payne. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The 31-year-old Ireland centre, who would have been in line for a homecoming at the game in Whangarei having played for Northland in New Zealand's provincial competition, has been replaced on the bench by England's Elliot Daly.

The Lions, who arrived in New Zealand on Wednesday, leave Auckland later today to travel north to Whangārei for tomorrow's game at Okara Park.

The Barbarians are comprised of players from New Zealand's semi-professional provincial competition and considered the easiest opposition the Lions will face on their gruelling tour.

The Lions will also play all five Super Rugby teams, the Māori All Blacks and three tests against the All Blacks.

New Zealand born centre Ben Te'o is in the starting fifteen while another New Zealand born player Mako Vunipola is in the reserves.

Revised Lions squad: 15-Stuart Hogg, 14-Anthony Watson, 13-Jonathan Joseph, 12-Ben Te'o, 11-Tommy Seymour, 10-Johnny Sexton, 9-Greig Laidlaw; 8-Taulupe Faletau, 7-Sam Warburton (captain), 6-Ross Moriarty, 5-Iain Henderson, 4-Alun Wyn Jones, 3-Kyle Sinckler, 2-Rory Best, 1-Joe Marler

Replacements: 16-Jamie George, 17-Mako Vunipola, 18-Tadhg Furlong, 19-George Kruis, 20-Justin Tipuric, 21-Rhys Webb, 22-Owen Farrell, 23-Elliot Daly

- Reuters