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Lions vs Lions | Live Team Reaction & Game Preview

By AAP
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From 11.20am UK time: Jim Hamilton, Andy Goode, Stephen Ferris and Tom Shanklin are live with you as they react to the announcement of the British & Irish Lions 2021 team that will take on the Emirates Lions this Saturday.

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Scotland fullback Stuart Hogg has been named to captain of the Lions in the opening match of their South African tour at Ellis Park on Saturday. The 29-year-old fullback only linked up with the squad after Saturday’s Premiership final and has been given an immediate chance to press for Test selection.

He is joined in the backline by Scotland teammate Finn Russell, who forms an intriguing 10-12 axis with Owen Farrell – one of his rivals for the fly-half duties against the Springboks.

Russell has overcome an ankle injury to make his first appearance of the tour and is picked in a half-back partnership alongside compatriot Ali Price.

Welsh winger Josh Adams is the only player retained in the starting line-up from the side that beat Japan 28-10 in Edinburgh last weekend in a warm-up game before their departure for Johannesburg.

A strong Scottish influence runs throughout the team.

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Hamish Watson, the current Six Nations player of the year, is restored at openside having been forced to withdraw from the back row to face the Brave Blossoms because of concussion sustained in training.

Chris Harris makes his first appearance of the tour at outside centre, lifting the number of Scotsmen in the starting XV to five. Prop Zander Fagerson is on the bench after recovering from a back spasm.

England dominate the pack where they supply five starters in hooker Jamie George, prop Kyle Sinckler, locks Maro Itoje and Jonny Hill and flanker Courtney Lawes.

It comes after Eddie Jones’ men were overlooked entirely against Japan and this time it is Ireland whose only representation is on the bench.

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“It’s good to have arrived in Johannesburg and get the tour under way… I’ve been encouraged by the way the boys have trained this week,” Gatland said.

“I feel it’s gone up a level… and we’re starting to see a better understanding of some of our tactics.

“There’s some new player combinations for us to have a look at this Saturday – which is good information for us as the Test series approaches.”

British and Irish Lions: 15-Stuart Hogg (capt), 14-Louis Rees-Zammit, 13- Chris Harris, 12-Owen Farrell, 11-Josh Adams, 10-Finn Russell, 9-Ali Price, 8-Taulupe Faletau, 7- Hamish Watson, 6- Courtney Lawes, 5-Jonny Hill, 4-Maro Itoje, 3-Kyle Sinckler, 2-Jamie George, 1-Wyn Jones. Reserves: 16-Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17-Mako Vunipola, 18-Zander Fagerson, 19 Iain Henderson, 20-Sam Simmonds, 21-Gareth Davies, 22-Bundee Aki, 23-Elliot Daly.

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Lions vs Lions | Live Team Reaction & Game Preview

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