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Bryn Gatland well known to Welsh Lions

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Lynn McConnell     01 Jun 2017     Getty Images

When the Barbarians squad was announced the inclusion of first five-eighths Bryn Gatland, who played for North Harbour's Mitre 10 Cup side last year, and who featured for the Blues when called in as injury cover this year in Investec SuperRugby, struck an immediate chord.


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It was going to be a case of the son of the Lions coach playing the opening game against the tourists.

But it went deeper than that. Bryn Gatland spent part of his youth in Wales where his father was the national coach and Lions captain Sam Warburton knew all about him.

Warburton said he had known Gatland for several years. He could remember when he came in as a youngster and did some kicking with the Welsh squad six or seven years ago.

"The Welsh lads know Bryn very well. I have a lot of respect for Bryn. I saw him play last year as well.

"I thought he showed a lot of courage when he stepped up and kicked a dropped goal last year as well to win [when North Harbour beat Otago to win the Mitre 10 Championship final]. You've got to give him a lot of credit for that.

"He's obviously in a good bloodline as well. I'm looking forward to coming up against him and shaking hands after the game.

"It's a fantastic achievement for him and he's got a lot of potential," Warburton said.