THE British & Irish Lions Head Coach, Warren Gatland, has named his team to play the DHL Stormers at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday 17 July (kick off 5pm BST).
Munster’s Tadhg Beirne makes his fourth appearance for the Lions, his third start in the back-row, having scored three tries in three games for the tourists.
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 17-13 to South Africa ‘A’ on Wednesday evening.
New recruit, Marcus Smith (Harlequins, England), will make his Lions debut at fly half.
Robbie Henshaw (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) returns from a hamstring injury to take place in the midfield alongside Elliot Daly (Saracens, England).
Josh Adams (Cardiff Rugby, Wales) also returns to the starting line-up following the birth of his daughter last night.
Following his return to the squad, Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys, Wales) is also named among the replacements.
The game, which will be shown live and exclusively on Sky Sports, is the final Tour match before the start of three Tests against World Champions, the Springboks.
“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.
“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.”
DHL STORMERS v THE BRITISH & IRISH LIONS
15 Stuart Hogg – captain (Exeter Chiefs, Scotland) #783
14 Josh Adams (Cardiff Rugby, Wales) #836
13 Elliot Daly (Saracens, England) #822
12 Robbie Henshaw (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #824
11 Duhan van der Merwe (Worcester Warriors, Scotland) #841
10 Marcus Smith (Harlequins, England)
9 Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland) #843
1 Rory Sutherland (Worcester Warriors, Scotland) #840
2 Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, England) #851
3 Tadhg Furlong (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #818
4 Adam Beard (Ospreys, Wales) #852
5 Jonny Hill (Exeter Chiefs, England) #845
6 Tadhg Beirne (Munster Rugby, Ireland) #838
7 Hamish Watson (Edinburgh Rugby, Scotland) #847
8 Jack Conan (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #839
16 Jamie George (Saracens, England) #819
17 Mako Vunipola (Saracens, England) #787
18 Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland) #848
19 Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys, Wales) #761
20 Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs, England) #849
21 Gareth Davies (Scarlets, Wales) #850
22 Chris Harris (Gloucester Rugby, Scotland) #844
23 Louis Rees-Zammit (Gloucester Rugby, Wales) #846
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