Highlights on Off The Ball

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Highlights on Off The Ball


Alun Wyn Jones named on the bench for the Lions and four Irish players included in starting 15

Alun Wyn Jones has been named on the bench for the Lions' final warm-up game against the Stormers...

Alun Wyn Jones has been named on the bench for the Lions' final warm-up game against the Stormers in Cape Town on Saturday. 

The Wales captain is flying to South Africa on Thursday after recovering from a dislocated shoulder which had originally ruled him out of the tour.

Lions head coach Warren Gatland has named a brand new starting 15 from the 17-13 defeat to South Africa ‘A’ on Wednesday, which includes Ireland internationals Robbie Henshaw, Tadhg Furlong, Tadhg Beirne and Jack Conan.

Following a period of isolation in Johannesburg, Stuart Hogg is named captain, while new recruit Marcus Smith will make his Lions debut at out-half and will have Ali Price as half-back partner.

Henshaw returns from a hamstring injury to take place in the midfield alongside Elliot Daly, who came off the bench against South Africa 'A'.

Josh Adams also returns to the starting line-up following the birth of his daughter this week.

It's the last chance Gatland will get to look at players before the start of three Tests against 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."

Lions team:

15. Stuart Hogg
14. Josh Adams
13. Elliot Daly
12. Robbie Henshaw
11. Duhan van der Merwe
10. Marcus Smith
9. Ali Price

1. Rory Sutherland
2. Luke Cowan-Dickie
3. Tadhg Furlong
4. Adam Beard
5. Jonny Hill
6. Tadhg Beirne
7. Hamish Watson
8. Jack Conan


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

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Alun Wyn Jones Cape Town Jack Conan Lions Robbie Henshaw South Africa Tadhg Beirne Tadhg Furlong Vodafone Warren Gatland