British & Irish Lions name team to play Stormers - and there are seven Scots involved
Seven Scots have been named in the British and Irish Lions matchday squad for the game against DHL Stormers in Cape Town on Saturday. Five are in the starting XV, with another two on the bench.
Stand-off Finn Russell, who is nursing an injured Achilles, is the only one of the eight Scottish Lions not involved.
The game marks the welcome return of Stuart Hogg following a period in isolation and the Scotland captain starts at full-back and will skipper the side.
This the Lions’ final match before the three-match Test series begins on July 24.
Ali Price starts at scrum-half and the Scotland No 9 will have new Lions recruit Marcus Smith as his halfback partner. The young England fly-half was drafted into the squad following Russell’s injury.
Elsewhere, there are starts for Scotland winger Duhan van der Merwe, prop Rory Sutherland and openside flanker Hamish Watson.
Zander Fagerson and Chris Harris are named among the replacements for the game at Cape Town Stadium.
It’s a brand new starting XV from the side that lost 17-13 to South Africa A on Wednesday evening. Ireland’s Robbie Henshaw returns from a hamstring injury to take place in the
midfield alongside England’s Elliot Daly.
Wales winger Josh Adams also returns to the starting line-up following the birth of his daughter on Wednesday night.
Following his return to the squad after a shoulder injury, original tour captain Alun Wyn Jones 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 Warren Gatland, the Lions head coach.
“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.
“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 & Irish Lions team (v Stormers, Cape Town, Saturday, 5pm)
15. Stuart Hogg, captain (Exeter Chiefs, Scotland)
14. Josh Adams (Cardiff Rugby, Wales)
13. Elliot Daly (Saracens, England)
12. Robbie Henshaw (Leinster Rugby, Ireland)
11. Duhan van der Merwe (Worcester Warriors, Scotland)
10. Marcus Smith (Harlequins, England)
9. Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland)
1. Rory Sutherland (Worcester Warriors, Scotland)
2. Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, England)
3. Tadhg Furlong (Leinster Rugby, Ireland)
4. Adam Beard (Ospreys, Wales)
5. Jonny Hill (Exeter Chiefs, England)
6. Tadhg Beirne (Munster Rugby, Ireland)
7. Hamish Watson (Edinburgh Rugby, Scotland)
8. Jack Conan (Leinster Rugby, Ireland)
16. Jamie George (Saracens, England)
17. Mako Vunipola (Saracens, England)
18. Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland)
19. Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys, Wales)
20. Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs, England)
21. Gareth Davies (Scarlets, Wales)
22. Chris Harris (Gloucester Rugby, Scotland)
23. Louis Rees-Zammit (Gloucester Rugby, Wales)
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