The pair have yet to start together on the tour to date; Jones's only start came against the Maori in Hamilton where Matt Dawson began at No.9, whilst Peel has started alongside Ronan O'Gara and Wilkinson. However, they did get twenty minutes together against Wellington last week. Thomas also made his Lions bow in that game; scoring a try in the closing stages and he gets the vote on the right wing with Josh Lewsey on the left and Jason Robinson at full back.
At forward, Jenkins is the sole Welsh representative although Ryan Jones is named as one of the seven replacements. With English trio Richard Hill, Martin Corry and Neil Back named in the back row, Head Coach Clive Woodward has opted for a pack that includes five English, Jenkins, Shane Byrne at hooker and Paul O'Connell in the second row.
Gareth Thomas said: "It's a dream come true but this is where the hard work begins. It wasn't so much of a relief when I heard my name, but I must admit it was a good feeling. I am proud of what Wales has achieved this year and I am proud that five of us are in the XXII for the first Test. It is going to be the toughest game we have ever played in our lives, but the spirit is good and we are all looking forward to the challenge."
Peel said: "I have enjoyed the tour so far, but as everyone keeps telling us, this is where the hard work begins. To have Stephen alongside me is great because we know each other's game so well, but it's also good to look around the side and see players like Gethin and Alfie too."
Jones added: "It was tougher for the likes of myself and Alfie because we didn't arrive until much later than the rest of the guys. Having said that, Clive gave us a chance and to be honest once he did, it was all about taking the opportunity."
Gethin Jenkins said: "Obviously chuffed. I can't wait to get out there and see what happens. It could be a great occasion."
Ryan Jones said: "I have only been here a matter of a week, so to be in the XXII is really special. If I do get a chance I would hope to take it with both hands. However, the most important thing is that we get this series off to a winning start."
British & Irish Lions team v New Zealand (1st Test)
B O'Driscoll (capt)