In Summary

  • It comes after Sonny Bill Williams was suspended following his red card in the second Test.
  • Hansen said Rieko Ioane was unwell and his fellow wing Waisake Naholo was dropped as a precaution after a head knock.

AUCKLAND

The British and Irish Lions named an unchanged team on Thursday for the decisive third Test against the All Blacks, who gambled on rookies in a reshuffled backline.

Visiting coach Warren Gatland urged his team to "make Lions history" as he had the luxury of picking the team's first unchanged line-up since 1993.

The All Blacks, who are back-to-back world champions, won the first Test 30-15 but lost 24-21 last week, when the Lions came from nine points down in the final 20 minutes.

The Lions will now bid to complete their first New Zealand series victory in 46 years on Saturday at Auckland's Eden Park — where the All Blacks are unbeaten in 38 Tests.

"It is not very often on a Lions Tour that you get to pick the same 23 for the following game," Gatland said.

"We are all aware of how big this game is and we are expecting a backlash from the All Blacks," he added.

"This is a huge chance for this group of players to show their abilities and reap the benefits of the work everyone has put in.

"It is their chance to make Lions history."

While the composite team are finally settled at the end of their tour, the All Blacks were forced into changes with coach Steve Hansen giving Jordie Barrett and Ngani Laumape their first Test starts.

Prolific winger Julian "The Bus" Savea returns after being dropped for the first two games with Barrett, fly-half Beauden's brother, named at fullback and Laumape at centre.

It comes after Sonny Bill Williams was suspended following his red card in the second Test. Hansen said Rieko Ioane was unwell and his fellow wing Waisake Naholo was dropped as a precaution after a head knock.

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