Rugby Union: Lions back three places not decided - Gatland

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Lions back three places not decided - Gatland

British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland has suggested Jack Nowell, Elliot Daly and Liam Williams all remain in the frame to start the first Test against New Zealand despite featuring in Tuesday's tour game against the Chiefs.

Nowell, Daly and Williams impressed in the back three as the Lions beat the Chiefs 34-6 in Waikato, four days before they take on the All Blacks at Eden Park.

Those who feature in midweek games ahead of Tests are generally considered to be out of the running for weekend action, at least from the start.

Anthony Watson, George North and Leigh Halfpenny are thought to be in line to start for the Lions on Saturday, but Gatland said selection had not yet been resolved.

"No, not at all," he told Sky Sports. "I thought the back three [against the Chiefs] were good. I spoke to both wingers and said there is an opportunity for them, and a few other positions as well. It hasn't been shut out.

"We're going to meet as coaches later on. We'll sit down in the morning and have a look at the tape, and I've said to the players we'll probably announce the team to them tomorrow [Wednesday] night before it's announced on Thursday."

Asked if the Lions were peaking at the right time, Gatland told Sky Sports: "I hope so. We always said we felt we would get better the longer the tour went on and the more time that the players spent together and [worked on] the combinations.

"There are still things to work on but it was a really important result for those players that had been in front in the first two midweek games and unfortunately let those leads slip. Today we were much more clinical.

"I think we're in pretty good shape. We feel as a group we're getting better from week to week, and the quality of opposition we've had has definitely improved us as a group.

"We've had to dig deep on occasions and play against real quality sides and that's been a huge benefit for us."