Strong England flavour to Gatland’s Lions team

Stuart Hogg will captain a British & Irish Lions team featuring 10 England players in their first 2021 tour match against the Lions in Johannesburg on Saturday.

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The Scotland fullback will lead an all-new starting XV to the one that defeated Japan 28-10 in Edinburgh this past weekend. Wales wing Josh Adams is the only player who retains his place in the starting lineup.

Louis Rees-Zammit, Chris Harris, Hamish Watson and Jonny Hill are all set to make their Lions debuts at Ellis Park.

Replacements Luke Cowan-Dickie, Zander Fagerson, Sam Simmonds and Gareth Davies are also in line to make their first appearances in the famous red jersey should they be called on to the park.

Wales loosehead prop Wyn Jones is the only non-Englishman in the front five, with Jamie George, Kyle Sinckler, Maro Itoje and Hill all starting. Loose forward Courtney Lawes and inside centre Owen Farrell complete the strong English contingent making up the starting lineup. There are a further four England players on the bench.

‘It’s good to have arrived in Johannesburg and get the tour under way,’ said Lions head coach Warren Gatland.

‘We had a pleasing win last week up in Edinburgh, but there’s still plenty we need to get right on Saturday.

‘I’ve been encouraged by the way the boys have trained this week. I feel it’s gone up a level from where we were in Jersey 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.

‘My congratulations to all those playing their first game as a Lion, and also to Hoggy, too – who I am sure will lead the side by example.’


15, Stuart Hogg – captain (Exeter Chiefs, Scotland) #783

14. Louis Rees-Zammit (Gloucester Rugby, Wales)

13. Chris Harris (Gloucester Rugby, Scotland)

12. Owen Farrell (Saracens, England) #780

11. Josh Adams (Cardiff Rugby, Wales) #836

10. Finn Russell (Racing 92, Scotland) #835

9. Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland) #843

1. Wyn Jones (Scarlets, Wales) #842

2. Jamie George (Saracens, England) #819

3. Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, England) #814

4. Maro Itoje (Saracens, England) #825

5. Jonny Hill (Exeter Chiefs, England)

6. Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, England) #826

7. Hamish Watson (Edinburgh Rugby, Scotland)

8. Taulupe Faletau (Bath Rugby, Wales) #779


16. Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, England)

17. Mako Vunipola (Saracens, England) – Prop #787

18. Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland)

19. Iain Henderson (Ulster Rugby, Ireland) #808

20. Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs, England)

21. Gareth Davies (Scarlets, Wales)

22. Bundee Aki (Connacht Rugby, Ireland) #837

23. Elliot Daly (Saracens, England) #822

Photo: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images

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Dylan Jack