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17 June 2017 National Sport

Last Updated: 17/06/17 12:29pm

Ian McGeechan’s Lions XV

Sir Ian McGeechan and Stephen Ferris discuss the Lions XV to face New Zealand in the first Test next Saturday in Eden Park.

A day after the , the Lions responded with a victory that takes their record to three wins from five games in New Zealand.

The Lions’ forwards were in command against the home side, creating pressure which allowed Leigh Halfpenny to kick his side to victory, as well as winning a penalty try in the second half.

With the first Test a week away, Lions coach Warren Gatland will now have a core of players who will make up his preferred side but who impressed Sir Ian McGeechan and Stephen Ferris?

There is no disagreement with the front five with them agreeing that Mako Vunipola, Jamie George and Tadhg Furlong make the front row while Maro itoje and George Kruis partner up in the second row.

“Itoje is a workhorse and he loves to get his hands on the ball. He had a couple of turnovers as well. He gives you a bit of momentum,” explained Ferris.

 Alun Wyn Jones misses out, according to both McGeechan and Ferris

 Alun Wyn Jones misses out, according to both McGeechan and Ferris

Alun Wyn Jones misses out, according to both McGeechan and Ferris

“Alun Wyn Jones for me is just not quite at the races just yet – he might come into the tour later on but I agree with Ian that it is Itoje and Kruis.”

There is no place for Sam Warburton in the back row with Peter O’Mahony, Sean O’Brien and Taulupe Faletau getting the nod.

“If you are not going to play Alun Wyn Jones in the second row then I would stick with O’Mahony for his leadership skills,” added ferris.

“O’Brien gives you that momentum which they are really going to need. I thought Faletau was brilliant against the Maori – every time he got a kick off he returned it.”

If fit then Owen Farrell has to partner Conor Murray in the half-backs according to McGeechan, but he admits time is running out for him.

“If Farrell was fit by Tuesday then I would pick Farrell but you can’t wait too long so then it is Sexton – there were good parts of his game today,” explained McGeechan.

Click on the video above to see McGeechan and Ferris pick their Lions XV

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