What's happening?

It's the second test of three-match series between the British and Irish Lions and the All Blacks. New Zealand lead 1-0 after last Saturday's win at Eden Park.

What time is kick-off?

As with all matches on this tour, the match begins at 7.35pm.

Advertisement

How do I follow the game?

It's live on Sky but there is free radio coverage on Radio Sport and Newstalk ZB. Tune in to listen to the always entertaining call from Nigel Yalden. Then there is the Herald's popular live blog on nzherald.co.nz. Follow also our post-match coverage on nzherald.co.nz and the Herald on Sunday newspaper tomorrow where our crack rugby writers Liam Napier, Pat McKendry and Gregor Paul will provide expert comment along with former All Black halfback Justin Marshall.

What is the team news?
ALL BLACKS
New Zealand fullback Ben Smith has been ruled out of tonight's second test.

Smith, who suffered concussion during last weekend's 30-15 victory in the first match, and centre Ryan Crotty (hamstring) are both sidelined for the Westpac Stadium clash.

Israel Dagg moves from the wing to replace Smith, with Waisake Naholo wearing the No 14 shirt and Anton Lienert-Brown taking over from Crotty alongside Sonny Bill Williams in midfield.

One switch on the bench, meanwhile, sees uncapped former Warriors league player Ngani Laumape featuring among the back-division replacements.

Israel Dagg, Waisake Naholo, Anton Lienert-Brown, Sonny Bill Williams, Rieko Ioane; Beauden Barrett, Aaron Smith; Joe Moody, Codie Taylor, Owen Franks, Brodie Retallick, Sam Whitelock, Jerome Kaino, Sam Cane, Kieran Read (capt). Reserves: Nathan Harris, Wyatt Crockett, Charlie Faumuina, Scott Barrett, Ardie Savea, TJ Perenara, Aaron Cruden, Ngani Laumape.

LIONS
Sam Warburton will captain the Lions with the tourists going for broke by starting both Johnny Sexton and Owen Farrell.

Advertisement

Tour captain Warburton starts at blindside flanker for the Wellington encounter, replacing Peter O'Mahony, who led the Lions in their opening test defeat.

Maro Itoje replaces George Kruis to partner Alun Wyn Jones at lock with Courtney Lawes on the bench as the Lions seek a route back into the three-test series.

Ireland flanker O'Mahony drops out of the matchday 23 altogether, with international teammate CJ Stander taking a seat on the Lions bench.

Liam Williams (Wales), Anthony Watson (England), Jonathan Davies (Wales), Owen Farrell, Elliot Daly (both England), Jonny Sexton, Conor Murray (both Ireland), Mako Vunipola, Jamie George (both England), Tadhg Furlong (Ireland), Maro Itoje (England), Alun-Wyn Jones, Sam Warburton (both Wales, capt), Sean O'Brien (Ireland), Toby Faletau (Wales). Reserves: Ken Owens (Wales), Jamie McGrath (Ireland), Kyle Sinckler, Courtney Lawes (both England), CJ Stander (Ireland), Rhys Webb (Wales), Ben Te'o, Jack Nowell (both England).

What are they saying?
Lions coach Warren Gatland:
"We saw Maro Itoje's impact in the first test and he will bring an edge and a physicality, as will Sam Warburton in terms of pressure on the ball.

"It's tough on Peter O'Mahony who has done a brilliant job for us. We had to look at the bench and we felt that CJ Stander's ball carrying and defence was the right choice.

"You have to make the tough calls and pick what is the right team and the right combinations for a test match.

"In terms of the backs we have gone with the Sexton-Farrell combination; both have played well and it gives us that attacking option in the 10-12 channel.

"We created opportunities in the first test and there were a few that we didn't finish.

"There were lots of positives from the first test but we were disappointed that we put ourselves in a position to put the All Blacks under pressure and to get back into the game and we let it slip."

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen:
"While it's disappointing to lose both Ben Smith and Ryan Crotty, it creates an opportunity for others.

"Izzy (Dagg) is a world-class back-three player, as is Anton in the midfield, and both Waisake and Ngani are coming in following outstanding performances against the Lions for their respective Super (Rugby) franchises.

"While we were happy with the win last weekend, we know that it was just a start in what is a three-test series.

"That means the job is far from done. It is going to require us to take our game to a higher level. It's going to be very demanding, physically and mentally, on both sides.

"We are aware the British and Irish Lions have their backs to the wall and will chuck everything at us to keep themselves alive in the series. They are a quality side who we respect immensely.

"In reality, last week's test could have gone either way had they taken more of their chances.

"Our job will be to make sure that we shut down their counter-attack better than we did last weekend, and at the same time, win the critical moments across the 80 minutes.

"As always, it will start with the battle of the tight five.

"We've worked hard throughout the week in our preparation in Wellington, and are now looking forward to Saturday."

What's our prediction?

By dropping the impressive Ben Te'o to the bench and starting with two pivots in Jonny Sexton and Owen Farrell, the Lions seem intent on trying to play the All Blacks at their own game. That never turns out well against a team of New Zealand's calibre. Expect a tight first half where the Lions' pride ensures they remain competitive. But in the second spell, the superior skills and fitness of the All Blacks will come to the fore and it will be at least a 15-point win to the home side, and maybe even more.