B&I Lions name three 'rookies' to face Sharks
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland has named three ‘rookies’ for his team’s second match on their tour of South Africa.
Tom Curry, Josh Navidi and Adam Beard will make their B&I Lions debuts this Wednesday, when the tourists take on Sharks at Ellis Park.
Ireland lock, Iain Henderson will captain the Lions for the first time, while tour captain Conor Murray is named amongst the replacements.
The game is the second of eight Tour matches in the 2021 B&I Lions series – which culminates with three Tests against World Champions the Springboks.
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“It’s a quick turnaround from Saturday, but we’ll be ready to go by Wednesday,” Gatland said.
“I’m pleased we managed to come through the weekend’s game unscathed, and the boys have rested and recovered well.
“We feel like we’re slowly building, but, as ever, there’s still room for improvement in all facets of our game.
“Wednesday is another chance for us to have a look at a few more combinations.
“I’m looking forward to seeing how the back row goes; it’s an exciting mixture and one that we hope will offer something a bit different.
“We expect another physical test against a side who are known for their power play and ambition.
“My congratulations to Tom, Josh and Adam ahead of their first starts in a Lions jersey.”
British and Irish Lions: 15 Liam Williams, 14 Anthony Watson, 13 Elliot Daly, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Duhan van der Merwe, 10 Dan Biggar 9 Gareth Davies, 8 Sam Simmonds, 7 Tom Curry, 6 Josh Navidi, 5 Adam Beard, 4 Iain Henderson (captain), 3 Zander Fagerson, 2 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 1 Mako Vunipola.
Replacements: 16 Ken Owens, 17 Rory Sutherland, 18 Tadhg Furlong, 19 Tadhg Beirne, 20 Jack Conan, 21 Conor Murray, 22 Stuart Hogg, 23 Chris Harris.
Date: Wednesday, July 7
Venue: Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Kick-off: 19.00 (18.00 BST; 17.00 GMT)
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Wayne Barnes (England), AJ Jacobs (South Africa)
TMO: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa)