Owens hails 'incredible' Lions medical staff

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Ken Owens hailed the British and Irish Lions medical team as "incredible" after he was selected to captain the team in the second game of their tour of New Zealand.

Owens missed the Lions' tour opener against the New Zealand Provincial Barbarians, which they won 13-7, but will skipper a side that features 15 changes from the first match.

The Wales hooker was unavailable for the end of the Scarlets' Pro12 campaign, including their victory over Munster in the final, because of an ankle injury.

But he has now recovered from that blow and said: "I'm just thankful to be on this trip now and looking forward to putting a marker down.

"The work the physios have done has been incredible.

"It was a massive worry and a nervous 72 hours icing my foot and resting up to get into a position to prove to the coaches and physio staff that I'd be in a position to rehab and get myself on the tour.

"Luckily that's given me the opportunity."

On being handed the captaincy for Wednesday's clash in Auckland, Owens added: "When Gats [Warren Gatland] asked me it was a bit of a shock but a huge honour and one it didn't take me too long to answer.

"It's just a massive honour for myself and a challenge I'm relishing on Wednesday, leading the boys out and hopefully putting a massive performance in that the Lions shirt deserves.

"There's a lot of experience in the side, so there's not going to be the need for too much shouting or big inspiring speeches because we've got a lot of experience in that room.

"I think it's just about showing direction and hopefully the boys will follow me."