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Published: 13:20 | 19/6/17

Farrell fit for opening Lions Test


British and Irish Lions back Owen Farrell will be fit to play in the first Test against the All Blacks in Auckland on Saturday.

Farrell suffered a quadricep strain on Thursday during training and missed the Lions' win over the Maori All Blacks on Saturday, but head coach Warren Gatland says the Saracens' star was omitted purely as a precaution. 

"Owen could have played on Saturday. Had it been a Test match he would have played," Gatland said.

"We just made a decision that it wasn't worth taking that risk.

"It's a quad strain that was very high and not on his kicking leg. It's on his left leg. I've no doubt he will be 100% fit."

Lions' captain Sam Warburton is also in line to start, as he continues his recovery from the ankle injury he sustained in the 13-7 win over the New Zealand Provincial Barbarians at the start of the tour on 3 June.

"Sam by his own account will tell you that he might have been a little rusty at the start, but he's getting better and better every day," defence coach Andy Farrell said.

"His body's in good condition, and he's battle-hardened like the rest of them."

Wales' full-back Leigh Halfpenny is also likely to feature as he continues his return-to-play protocols after a suspected head injury.

"We don't see too much of a problem with that for Leigh, it's just the process we have to go through," Farrell continued.

"And Owen seems to be all good, that seems to have settled down.

"The boys who aren't playing the Chiefs [in Hamilton on Wednesday] will have a light hit-out today [Monday], an orientation day for the rest of the week, and Owen seems fine enough to take part in that."

Photo Getty Images/ Hannah Peters

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