Warren Gatland has had to make two injury-enforced changes to the British & Irish Lions starting lineup for Saturday’s Test against Japan at Murrayfield in Edinburgh.
Flank Hamish Watson and tighthead prop Zander Fagerson have been ruled out with of Saturday’s Test due to injuries and will be replaced by Justin Tipuric and Tadhg Furlong, respectively.
Fagerson was due to start against the Brave Blossoms, but was unable to train on Thursday morning due to back spasms and has been replaced in the starting team by Furlong. Englishman Kyle Sinckler has been added to the bench to complete the match 23.
The Scottish loose forward Watson suffered a concussion in training and will begin the graduated return-to-play protocol. As a result, Tipuric – who was not initially selected in the match-day squad – has been fast-tracked into the run-on XV.
“It’s a shame for Zander not to be able to run out at Murrayfield as a Lion, but he’s not quite one 100%,” Gatland said.
“He’ll get a chance to start in the next two games and stake a claim for a Test spot in South Africa, so it’s not worth the risk.”
British & Irish Lions – 15 Liam Williams, 14 Josh Adams, 13 Robbie Henshaw, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Duhan van der Merwe, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Jack Conan, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Tadhg Beirne, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (c), 4 Ian Henderson, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Rory Sutherland.
Subs: 16 Jamie George, 17 Wyn Jones, 18 Kyle Sinckler, 19 Courtney Lawes, 20 Taulupe Faletau, 21 Ali Price, 22 Owen Farrell, 23 Anthony Watson.
Photo: British & Irish Lions