WELLINGTON (Reuters) - The British and Irish Lions’ New Zealand-born centre Jared Payne has been ruled out of Saturday’s tour opener against the New Zealand Provincial Barbarians with a calf strain, the team said on the eve of the match.
The 31-year-old Ireland centre, who would have been in line for a homecoming at the game in Whangarei having played for Northland in New Zealand’s provincial competition, has been replaced on the bench by England’s Elliot Daly.
The Lions, who arrived in New Zealand on Wednesday, leave Auckland later on Friday to travel north to Whangarei for Saturday’s game at Okara Park.
The Barbarians are comprised of players from New Zealand’s semi-professional provincial competition and considered the easiest opposition the Lions will face on their gruelling tour.
The Lions will also play all five Super Rugby teams, the Maori All Blacks and three tests against the All Blacks.
Revised Lions squad: 15-Stuart Hogg, 14-Anthony Watson, 13-Jonathan Joseph, 12-Ben Te‘o, 11-Tommy Seymour, 10-Johnny Sexton, 9-Greig Laidlaw; 8-Taulupe Faletau, 7-Sam Warburton (captain), 6-Ross Moriarty, 5-Iain Henderson, 4-Alun Wyn Jones, 3-Kyle Sinckler, 2-Rory Best, 1-Joe Marler
Replacements: 16-Jamie George, 17-Mako Vunipola, 18-Tadhg Furlong, 19-George Kruis, 20-Justin Tipuric, 21-Rhys Webb, 22-Owen Farrell, 23-Elliot Daly
Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Ken Ferris