Thu 15 Jul 2021 | 12:27

Jones on B&I Lions' bench, new recruit at flyhalf

Jones on B&I Lions' bench, new recruit at flyhalf
Thu 15 Jul 2021 | 12:27
Jones on B&I Lions' bench, new recruit at flyhalf
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TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: British & Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland has named his team to play the Stormers at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday.

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Following a period of isolation in Johannesburg, Stuart Hogg (Exeter Chiefs, Scotland), is named captain of a brand new starting XV from the one that went down 13-17 to South Africa ‘A’ on Wednesday.

New recruit, Marcus Smith (Harlequins, England), will make his Lions debut at flyhalf.

Robbie Henshaw (Leinster, Ireland) returns from a hamstring injury to take place in the midfield alongside Elliot Daly (Saracens, England).

Josh Adams (Cardiff, Wales) also returns to the starting line-up following the birth of his daughter last night [Wednesday].

Following his return to the squad, Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys, Wales) is also named among the replacements.

“It’s an important game as it’s the final chance for the coaching group to see the players perform prior to the start of the Test Series,” said Gatland.

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“For the matchday 23 it’s their last opportunity to stake a claim for a Test place, so I expect to see a highly motivated group of players.

“It is particularly pleasing to be able to name Stuart Hogg in the squad. He’s not had much luck on Lions Tours to date, so it’ll be great to see him cross the whitewash again with the captain’s armband.

“I’m also delighted that Marcus will get his first start in a Lions jersey. I’ve been really impressed with his attitude since coming into camp this week; he’s been like a sponge for information.”

“Obviously it’s a tight turnaround from Wednesday’s game but we’re in pretty good shape. The South Africa ‘A’ game was a physical encounter – we always knew it would be – but we’ve come out of it pretty much intact and ready to go again. Liam Williams will begin his return to play protocol following his HIA.

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“We learnt a lot from Wednesday’s game and I hope the defeat will serve us well. There’re still some areas of the game we need to tighten up on, particularly reducing our turnover rate.

“Time and again on this Tour we’ve had to adapt in the face of the challenges created by COVID-19. I couldn’t be prouder of the staff and the players for the role each of them has played to get us to this point on the Tour.”

British and Irish Lions: Stuart Hogg (captain), 14 Josh Adams, 13 Elliot Daly, 12 Robbie Henshaw, 11 Duhan van der Merwe, 10 Marcus Smith, 9 Ali Price, 8 Jack Conan, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 Tadhg Beirne, 5 Jonny Hill, 4 Adam Beard, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 1 Rory Sutherland.
Replacements: 16 Jamie George, 17 Mako Vunipola, 18 Zander Fagerson, 19 Alun Wyn Jones, 20 Sam Simmonds, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Chris Harris, 23 Louis Rees-Zammit.

Date: Saturday, July 17
Venue: Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town
Kick-off: 18.00 (17.00 BST; 16.00 GMT)
Referee: Wayne Barnes (RFU)
Assistant referees: AJ Jacobs, Jaco Peyper
TMO: Marius van der Westhuizen

PV: 19
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Jones on B&I Lions' bench, new recruit at flyhalf | Rugby365