British and Irish Lions 2017: Peter O'Mahony 'ready to step up' against All Blacks

Peter O'Mahony
Peter O'Mahony captained the Lions against the Maori All Blacks on Saturday
New Zealand v British and Irish Lions, first Test
Venue: Eden Park, Auckland Date: Saturday, 24 June Kick-off: 08:35 BST
Coverage: Live text commentary on the BBC Sport website and app

Peter O'Mahony is going to "make the Lions proud" if he is confirmed as captain for the series opener against the All Blacks, says his Munster and Ireland team-mate CJ Stander.

With Sam Warburton struggling to force his way into the starting XV for the first Test, flanker O'Mahony is the favourite to lead the side at Eden Park on Saturday.

"He's a great captain - we all know that," said Stander.

"He's ready to do it."

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CJ Stander lauds the leadership of Munster team-mate Peter O'Mahony

O'Mahony is the man in possession having captained the Lions to victory against the Maori All Blacks last weekend.

Number eight Stander added: "He's my captain at Munster and his heart is on his sleeve. I don't think there are a lot of leaders like him. I think he's going to make us proud."

'Lively' selection debate for Gatland

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Who should captain the Lions against New Zealand?

Head coach Warren Gatland says there will be some "lively" debate when he and his coaches finalise the match-day squad to take on New Zealand.

Before the Auckland showdown, the midweek team crushed the Chiefs 34-6 with some players "putting their hands up", according to Gatland.

There will be a final selection meeting on Wednesday.

"I have no doubt there will be some healthy debate," the Kiwi said.

"The selection meeting will be with all the coaches - it's always a consensus of the group, it's never one person's call or decision.

"I am sure there will be some lively debate and discussion, but once a decision will be made we will agree on it 100%."

Daly, Williams and Nowell impress

Jack Nowell
Jack Nowell scored two tries against the Chiefs on Tuesday

The bulk of the Test side will be the one that comprehensively beat the Maori, although Gatland says wing Elliot Daly has "possibly" played his way into contention.

Both Jack Nowell and Liam Williams were also sharp against the Chiefs as the Lions scored four tries.

"Someone like Jack Nowell - it just hadn't happened for him the last couple of games," Gatland added.

"I was pleased to see him play well, Elliot was sharp as well and Liam [Williams], and as a group they looked pretty dangerous and pretty potent.

"It's pleasing we created [chances], and now we are starting to finish them."

Gatland added: "The selection meeting will be tough and that's the way we want it.

"We spoke about the quality of the squad before we left and some players haven't disappointed us.

"On Saturday we are up against the best team in world in their own back yard where they haven't lost since 1994. It's going to be a big test for us."

Gatland will hold a final selection meeting on Wednesday

Meanwhile, after Gatland was accused of devaluing the Lions shirt by calling up six replacements over the weekend, only prop Allan Dell actually took to the field at the Waikato Stadium.

Kristian Dacey, Tomas Francis, Cory Hill, Gareth Davies, Finn Russell were all unused replacements.

"We wanted that group of players to go 80 minutes," he said.

"The guys that were on the bench we said all along they were coming in for cover."

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