New Zealand v Lions: Kieran Read returns to captain All Blacks in first Test

Number eight Kieran Read will return from injury to captain New Zealand in the first Test against the British and Irish Lions in Auckland on Saturday.

Read, 31, has not played since April because of a broken thumb.

Wing Rieko Ioane will win his third cap, while Ryan Crotty partners Sonny Bill Williams in the centre.

"This was a really tough team to pick. There were a number of players in great form vying for positions," said All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen.

More to follow

New Zealand team: Joe Moody, Codie Taylor, Owen Franks, Brodie Retallick, Samuel Whitelock, Jerome Kaino, Sam Cane, Kieran Read (capt), Aaron Smith, Beauden Barrett, Rieko Ioane, Sonny Bill Williams, Ryan Crotty, Israel Dagg, Ben Smith.

Replacements: Nathan Harris, Wyatt Crockett, Charlie Faumuina, Scott Barrett, Ardie Savea, TJ Perenara, Aaron Cruden/Lima Sopoaga, Anton Lienert-Brown.

BBC

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