Lions tour: Sir Graham Henry says Lions should bench Sam Warburton for All Blacks test

Sir Graham Henry coached the All Blacks and the Lions.
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Sir Graham Henry coached the All Blacks and the Lions.

Sir Graham Henry believes Warren Gatland should demote Lions captain Sam Warburton to the bench for the first All Blacks test.

Henry, former All Blacks and Lions coach, told the Telegraph his starting XV for Saturday's encounter at Eden Park, with Warburton's exclusion for Sean O'Brien meaning Welsh lock Alun Wyn Jones would captain the side.

Jones gets the nod over Maro Itoje to start alongside George Kruis, while Henry chose two playmakers in Johnny Sexton and Owen Farrell to play at first and second five-eighth.

Captain Sam Warburton could not make it into Sir Graham Henry's Lions team.
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Captain Sam Warburton could not make it into Sir Graham Henry's Lions team.

A starting combination of Sexton and Farrell means Ben Te'o would be benched despite his good form on tour.

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Henry selected Leigh Halfpenny and Anthony Watson to start at fullback and right wing respectively, but dropped George North to the bench in favour of fellow Welsh winger Liam Williams.

Jonathan Davies joins Owen Farrell in the midfield to complete the backline, with halfback Conor Murray lining up with Sexton in an Irish halves combination.

Henry also bracketed versatile midfielder Jonathan Joseph to be an option off the bench if Farrell wasn't fit, while Rhys Webb was picked as Murray's backup.

Taulupe Faletau, Peter O'Mahony join O'Brien in the back row, with tour skipper Warburton in reserve.

Ben Te'o has stood out for the Lions.
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Ben Te'o has stood out for the Lions.

Mako Vunipola, Jamie George and Tadhg Furlong, who all started in the 32-10 win over New Zealand Maori, would be Henry's front row, with Rory Best, Dan Cole and Jack McGrath in reserve.

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Sir Graham Henry's Lions team to face the All Blacks: Leigh Halfpenny, Anthony Watson, Jonathan Davies, Owen Farrell (Ben Te'o), Liam Williams, Johnny Sexton, Conor Murray; Taulupe Faletau, Sean O'Brien, Peter O'Mahony, Alun Wyn Jones, George Kruis, Tadhg Furlong, Jamie George, Mako Vunipolia. Reserves: Rory Best, Dan Cole, Jack McGrath, Maro Itoje, Sam Warburton, Rhys Webb, Ben Te'o (Jonathan Joseph), George North.

 - Stuff

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