British Lions: Stuart Hogg and Richie Gray to start

SCOTS Stuart Hogg and Richie Gray have been selected to start in the biggest match of the British and Irish Lions tour so far – tomorrow’s clash with Queensland Reds in Brisbane.

Scotland's Richie Gray and Stuart Hogg. Picture: Getty
Scotland's Richie Gray and Stuart Hogg. Picture: Getty
Scotland's Richie Gray and Stuart Hogg. Picture: Getty

Full-back Hogg and lock forward Gray, who both performed well in last weekend’s Barbarians curtain-raiser in Hong Kong, have been given a chance to press their claims for a place in the Test squad two weeks out from the first meeting with the Wallabies. Leigh Halfpenny of Wales is hot favourite to take the No 15 jersey for the first Test but Gray is seen as a genuine contender for a second-row slot.

Tomorrow’s match should be a far tougher test than Wednesday’s routine 69-17 hammering of a weakened Western Force in Perth. Tour captain Sam Warburton will make his Lions debut against the 2011 Super Rugby champions. Coach Warren Gatland has also included Welsh prop Gethin Jenkins, who missed the first two matches with a calf problem, against a Reds side boasting 87 caps and Quade Cooper at stand-off.

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Owen Farrell returns at No 10 for the Lions with England team-mate Manu Tuilagi at outside centre, Jonathan Davies moving inside to accommodate him and his fellow Welshman Jamie Roberts left out altogether. England scrum-half Ben Youngs also gets his first start of the tour.

The Lions could soon lose Cian Healy to injury, a ban or both. The Irishman damaged ligaments in his left ankle in Perth and will face a hearing in Brisbane today after he was cited for biting Force scrum-half Brett Sheehan.

Lions team v Queensland Reds at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, tomorrow, kick-off 10.30am BST

15 S Hogg (Scotland)

14 A Cuthbert (Wales)

13 M Tuilagi (England)

12 J Davies (Wales)

11 T Bowe (Ireland)

10 O Farrell (England)

9 B Youngs (England)

1 G Jenkins (Wales)

2 T Youngs (England)

3 M Stevens (England)

4 R Gray (Scotland)

5 G Parling (England)

6 D Lydiate (Wales)

7 S Warburton (Wales, capt)

8 T Faletau (Wales)

Subs: R Hibberd (Wales), M Vunipola (England), A Jones (Wales), P O’Connell (Ireland), J Tipuric (Wales), C Murray (Ireland), J Sexton (Ireland), G North (Wales).