Hansen singles out Te'o as Lions' talisman

The England international has been one of Warren Gatland's go-to men during the Tour of New Zealand

Ben Te'o

Image: David Davies/PA Wire/PA Images

New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen has picked out Ben Te'o for special mention after the British and Irish Lions named their team for the first Test.

The England international was born in Auckland, where Saturday's opener will take place. He starts in midfield alongside Jonathan Davies, with Owen Farrell at fly-half.

Ireland's Peter O'Mahony will captain this side for the first Test, but Hansen says he's concerned about the impact Te'o could have and that the rugby league-convert has been one of the standout players on-tour.

"He's earned his spot, he's been a number one ball carrier in all of the games," he said. "He's the best line-breaker and he's very good running through traffic."

Lions head coach Warren Gatland, who named his team on Wednesday night, admitted he couldn't ignore form after making several surprise selections for Saturday's first Test with New Zealand.

Elliot Daly and Liam Williams start in the backline at the expense of George North and Leigh Halfpenny.