New Zealand vs. British & Irish Lions: Start Time, Live Stream for 2017 2nd Test

Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistJune 30, 2017

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - JUNE 24:  Jonathan Davies of the Lions runs with the ball during the Test match between the New Zealand All Blacks and the British & Irish Lions at Eden Park on June 24, 2017 in Auckland, New Zealand.  (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
David Rogers/Getty Images

New Zealand can end the British and Irish Lions' hopes of a series victory on Saturday with a win in the second Test at Wellington's Westpac Stadium.

The Lions made a bright start at Auckland's Eden Park last Saturday as they looked to surprise the All Blacks in Game 1 of this summer's series, but the visitors ultimately ran out of steam en route to a convincing 30-15 loss.

Preventing New Zealand from gaining their usual second wind in the last 30 minutes of Saturday's Test will be a chief priority for the travelling outfit this time around, although many have tried and failed in that regard.

Lions coach Warren Gatland has changed up the team ahead of Game 2, however, and his side need a win if they're to keep alive any hopes of stopping New Zealand from finishing the series in early fashion.

We take a look at some of the players likely to play key roles in Saturday's crunch encounter, complete with all the fixture details and live-stream information you'll need to tune into the action. 

       

Date: Saturday, July 1

Time: 8:35 a.m. BST/3:35 a.m. ET/7:35 p.m. local time

Venue: Westpac Stadium, Wellington

Live Stream: Sky Go app (UK)

       

Sonny Bill Williams

Williams (left) is back to his best in international colours.
Williams (left) is back to his best in international colours.Hannah Peters/Getty Images

One of the key areas of debate this week has oddly enough been the midfield, where England centre Ben Te'o has dropped to the bench, with compatriot Owen Farrell taking his place while Johnny Sexton slots in at fly-half.

It's a bold move for Gatland to make considering one of Te'o's primary roles last Saturday was caging New Zealand behemoth Sonny Bill Williams, and the Telegraph's Paul Hayward thought he did a fine job in that regard:

Indeed Farrell doesn't pose the same hulking figure as compatriot Te'o in the centre, and there is the added risk of Williams running riot should the sometimes No. 10 lose out by a wide margin in the physicality department.

But the prospect of seeing Farrell trampled into the Westpac Stadium soil hasn't crossed the mind of Gatland, who has insisted the Englishman and Ireland's Sexton can stop the Kiwi crusher, per Nick Purewal of the Evening Standard:

"Johnny and Owen haven't started but have had quite a bit of time together. It's just given us two ball players and two kicking options at first and second receiver, so we're happy with the mix.

"One concern we might have is that looking at the long-range weather forecast it doesn't look too great for Saturday night. So we may have to change how we play tactically."

"And of course defensively we'll have to do a job on Sonny Bill Williams, too. He came pretty direct at us and got away a couple of offloads, so it's going to be important we shut him down."

Gatland touched on the added dynamism his backs will likely have as a result of swapping Farrell in for Te'o, but ex-England centre and former Lion Mike Tindall has also warned of the imbalance that could follow:

It's not as though Farrell hasn't played and taken down big centres in the past, but Williams isn't only big and as athletic as they come, he also boasts some of the silkiest hands in the game.

Therefore, Gatland could either outwit New Zealand counterpart Steve Hansen as a result of his changes, or he could have just handed Williams the keys to the kingdom as he looks to run riot from the All Blacks' core.

       

Maro Itoje

Itoje will make his first Lions Test start on Saturday.
Itoje will make his first Lions Test start on Saturday.David Rogers/Getty Images

Though some of Gatland's decisions during this summer's tour have been contentious, not many can argue the point that England star and first-time Lion Maro Itoje isn't deserving of his place in the XV.

He's only recently begun to make strides on the international stage, but he's already established himself as one of the northern hemisphere's greatest talents, one that should have started Game 1, according to ex-England lock Ben Kay:

Wales second-row Alun Wyn Jones will be an unfamiliar partner for the 22-year-old, but Itoje's maturity beyond his years was recently illustrated by Murray Kinsella of The42.ie:

The fact Itoje could have his chance to make an impact across 80 minutes this time around, as opposed to his 30-minute stint off the bench in Auckland, could make a difference to the Lions' hopes in itself.

That's the unique talent Gatland has opted to trust from the beginning this time around, although a big task awaits the Saracens star in ensuring the occasion doesn't become too overwhelming.