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Fagerson becomes second Scotland forward to drop out of Lions XV versus Japan

By Liam Heagney

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Lions boss Warren Gatland has been forced into a second change to his starting line-up to face Japan this Saturday at Murrayfield, Scotland tighthead Zander Fagerson dropping out of the team less than 24 hours after it was announced that fellow Scot Hamish Watson was also pulling out.

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It was Tuesday when Gatland initially unveiled an XV that consisted of six Irish players, five Welsh and four Scots.

However, the Lions team that will now take the pitch in Edinburgh will consist of seven Irish, six Welsh and just two Scots after Justin Tipuric was added to the team on Wednesday with Tadhg Furlong following him into the line-up on Thursday.

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A Lions statement read: “Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland) has been ruled out of this Saturday’s clash against Japan with a back spasm. The tighthead prop was due to start at BT Murrayfield Stadium for The Vodafone Lions 1888 Cup but was unable to train this morning and is replaced in the starting XV by Tadhg Furlong (Leinster, Ireland).

“It’s a shame for Zander not to be able to run out at Murrayfield as a Lion, but he’s not quite one hundred per cent,” said Gatland. “He will 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. Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, England) is added to the bench to complete the matchday squad.”

LIONS (vs Japan, Saturday)
15. Liam Williams (Scarlets, Wales) #833
14. Josh Adams (Cardiff Rugby, Wales)
13. Robbie Henshaw (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #824
12. Bundee Aki (Connacht Rugby, Ireland)
11. Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh Rugby, Scotland)
10. Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints, Wales) #821
9. Conor Murray (Munster Rugby, Ireland) #790
1. Rory Sutherland (Edinburgh Rugby, Scotland)
2. Ken Owens (Scarlets, Wales) #829
3. Tadhg Furlong (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #818
4. Iain Henderson (Ulster Rugby, Ireland) #808
5. Alun Wyn Jones – Captain (Ospreys, Wales) #761
6.Tadhg Beirne (Munster Rugby, Ireland)
7. Justin Tipuric (Ospreys, Wales) – Back row #786
8. Jack Conan (Leinster Rugby, Ireland)

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Replacements:
16. Jamie George (Saracens, England) #819
17. Wyn Jones (Scarlets, Wales)
18. Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, England) #814
19. Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, England) #826
20. Taulupe Faletau (Bath Rugby, Wales) #779
21. Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland)
22. Owen Farrell (Saracens, England) #780
23. Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, England)#816

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Fagerson becomes second Scotland forward to drop out of Lions XV versus Japan

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