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Lions Test start a dream come true: Ioane

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 23/06/2017 Angelo Risso

All Blacks young gun Rieko Ioane has labelled his first Test start - against the British and Irish Lions, no less - a dream come true.

The zippy Ioane has fended off the challenge of established Test finishers Julian Savea and Waisake Naholo to start on the left flank on Saturday.

He'll be the youngest All Black to start a Test in 12 years when he takes to Eden Park, after already playing the Lions with the Blues and Maori All Blacks.

It's a major vote of confidence for the 20-year-old, who has scored 10 tries in a prolific Super Rugby campaign for the Auckland-based Blues.

He hopes to produce the goods on the highest stage.

"When Steve (Hansen) named that team, I think (there was) definitely a lot of nervousness, enjoyment, everything that comes with a first start - I'm just looking forward to the challenge," the two-Test Ioane told All Blacks TV.

"Once I actually made the squad, I think my goals started to change a bit and a first Test start has probably been the big one - so to get my start against the British and Irish Lions, it's awesome, a dream come true.

"I've played a couple against them but this will definitely be the biggest."

Head coach Hansen told reporters on Thursday Ioane's speed, footwork, cool temperament and Blues form made him impossible to ignore.

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