Lions team to face the South Africa: Gatland names Test team | Ruck

Lions team to face the South Africa: Gatland names Test team

Lions team to face the South Africa: Warren Gatland has picked his team to face the Springboks in the opening test.

Tour captain Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys, Wales) will skipper the Lions having recovered from a dislocated shoulder sustained in the tourists 28-10 win over Japan at Murrayfield Stadium just 24 days ago.

The iconic Welshman will be joined in the second row by Maro Itoje (Saracens, England) who claims his fourth successive Lions Test cap.

Prolific try-scoring Welsh winger Josh Adams has also a been left out of the team, and does not feature in the match-day squad at all.

“In my four Tours as a Lions coach, this was by far the hardest Test selection I have been involved in,” said Gatland.

“We couldn’t have asked for more from the players so far; they’ve all put their hands up and made picking a starting XV incredibly difficult. In truth, we would have been happy with any number of different combinations across the 23, however, we’re very pleased with the side we’ve settled on.

“We know what we’re coming up against on Saturday. It’s going to be an arm wrestle, there’s no doubt about it. We’ll need to front up physically and be ready to go from the first whistle. When we played SA ‘A’ last week we probably took a bit too long to get into the game, something we can’t afford to do that again this weekend.

“We need to make sure we play in the right areas of the field, not give them easy territory and take our chances when they come.”

When is it?

Saturday, July 24.

What time is kick-off?

5pm.

What TV channel is it on?

Live coverage is on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports The Lions. Highlights of all three Tests against South Africa will be on Channel 4 and All4.

CONFIRMED Lions team to face the South Africa:

15. Stuart Hogg (Scotland)
14. Anthony Watson (England)
13. Elliot Daly (England)
12. Robbie Henshaw (Ireland)
11. Duhan van der Merwe (Scotland)
10. Dan Biggar (Wales)
9. Ali Price (Scotland)
8. Jack Conan (Ireland)
7. Tom Curry (England)
6. Courtney Lawes (England)
5. Maro Itoje (England)
4. Alun Wyn Jones (Wales, Lions captain)
3. Tadhg Furlong (Ireland)
2. Luke Cowan-Dickie (England)
1. Wyn Jones (Wales)

Replacements

16. Ken Owens (Wales), 17. Rory Sutherland (Scotland), 18. Kyle Sinckler (England), 19. Tadhg Beirne (Ireland), 20. Hamish Watson (Scotland), 21. Conor Murray (Ireland), 22. Owen Farrell (England), 23. Liam Williams (Wales).

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