Fitzpatrick: Jordie Barrett best player in NZ

Gatland has not meddled with his winning back row from last week, with captain Sam Warburton playing alongside Sean O'Brien and Toby Faletau.

Ahead of that game in Wellington, O'Gara questioned the logic of Ben Te'o being dropped to accommodate a relatively untested 10-12 combination of Johnny Sexton and Owen Farrell.

England wingers Elliot Daly of Wasps and Bath Rugby's Anthony Watson both start with new Saracens arrival Liam Williams retaining his place at full-back.

"We knew how desperate we had to be last week and we can go on and take it to another level". So we need to build and be ready for what they've got next week. What we do know for sure is the Lions were staring down the barrel for 70 minutes but they found the inner belief and courage to beat the All Blacks in Wellington, the first time the most dominant sports team in the world had lost there since 2003. "You see it in the eyes of the players sometimes - they hold up the All Blacks in such high esteem".

With no midweek game it would have been tough for any player to force his way into the test side. I think he was exposed defensively for both tries that the Lions scored.

"You get those moments in the life and you don't want to let them pass you by".

"So it's looking around the room, knowing what you've got in there, that there's a world-class player on your shoulder, left and right, and pushing yourself forward every single second". "We made it very hard at times with our discipline", he added. Ngani Laumape starts at inside centre after impressing as a replacement last weekend with Williams banned following his dismissal.

While Hansen has rolled the dice on Laumape this week, it was Lions boss Warren Gatland who threw caution to the wind seven days ago by naming Sexton and Farrell to start together for the first time in New Zealand.

Blockbusting wing Julian Savea wins a recall after failing to even make the bench in the first two Tests while Israel Dagg moves from fullback to wing to accommodate Barrett.

Having officiated in the Lions' final midweek game against the Hurricanes, Frenchman referee Romain Poite will run the rule over the third and final Test.

That's now cleared and that's great news for him and [his wife] Katy.

While Warburton says the squad have embraced Lions history, he added they have to rein it in on Saturday in order to be successful.

"We weren't really happy with the way we played last week so certainly we've got to make a change. the boys are pretty confident with what we've got in our group", he said.

On that occasion, the All Blacks came out and defeated the Lions 30-13 in the deciding test, so it not exactly a good omen.But Gatland felt he had to show faith in the players who did the business in Wellington.

Perhaps more telling was criticism in New Zealand about Itoje's "cynical" offside infringements as the match hung in the balance.

It's the first time since 1993 they've kept an intact 15 from test to test.

Gerry Thornley joined Off the Ball on Wednesday to discuss the third and final test between the between the Lions and New Zealand this Saturday.

  • Leroy Wright