Sonny Bill Williams in line to face the Lions

He is struggling with a knee injury

BY Simon Maguire 11:30 Monday 5 June 2017, 11:30 5 Jun 2017

Sonny Bill Williams ©INPHO/Photosport/Anthony Au-Yeung

All Black star Sonny Bill Williams has been named in the Auckland Blues side to face the Lions pending a fitness test.

Blues coach Tana Umaga named the New Zeland international as a provisional starter with TJ Faiane in line to step in if Williams is unable to prove his fitness.

Ofa Tu’ungafasi, James Parsons (captain) and Charlie Faumuina have been named in the front row with Gerard Cowley-Tuioti and Scott Scrafton starting at lock. 

Akira Ioane, Blake Gibson and Steven Luatua make up the back-row unit.

Stephen Perofeta and Augustine Pulu start at half-back with Sonny Bill Williams and George Moala starting in the centre. 

Rieko Ioane and Matt Duffie start on the wings, with Michael Collins named at full-back.

Hame Faiva, Alex Hodgman, Sione Mafileo, Patrick Tuipulotu, Kara Pryor, Sam Nock, Ihaia West and TJ Faiane/Melani Nanai are named on the bench. 

Looking ahead to the game with the Lions, former All Black captain said: "This is a great opportunity for our team and our club and an opportunity for our guys to be involved in something that is pretty special.

“We have said before that not all players get to play the British & Irish Lions and this is the group that will take our club forward," he added. 

CJ Stander is one of four Irish players named on the Lions team

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