LONDON (Reuters) - British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland is likely to face his son Bryn in the first match of their tour of New Zealand after the 22-year-old was confirmed in the Provincial Barbarians squad in Friday.
Ihaia West’s return to fitness for the Blues means Gatland junior has been named in Clayton McMillan’s 23 for the eagerly awaited tour opener at Whangarei on June 3.
Six players -- Hame Haiva, Quentin Strange, Heiden Bedwell Curtis, Mitch Brown, Jonathan Taumateine and Johnny Fa‘auli -- have withdraw from the game because of Super Rugby commitments.
“We have put in a lot of planning to get to this point and are looking forward to spending time as a group and see it all come together,” McMillan said in a statement.
“This is a huge occasion for our players and management and I know everyone is eager to get things underway and create history.”
The squad travels to Whangarei on Sunday. The Lions will play three tests against the All Blacks, the first on June 24 in Auckland.
Reporting by Neil Robinson, editing by Pritha Sarkar