Welsh duo Adam Beard and Josh Navidi have been called into the British & Irish Lions 37-man touring squad to replace the injured Alun Wyn Jones and Justin Tipuric.
Jones and Tipuric both sustained Tour-ending shoulder injuries during the Lions 28-10 win over Japan at Murrayfield on Saturday for The Lions 1888 Cup.
While Gatland had confirmed that Jones’ tour was over immediately after the game, there was still hope that Tipuric’s knock wasn’t as serious and that he would still be able to make the trip over to South Africa.
But late on Saturday night, confirmation came through that the loose forward had indeed suffered a tour-ending injury too.
“The timing of these injuries seem particularly cruel given we fly to South Africa tomorrow, but unfortunately they’re part of the game,” Gatland commented.
“Alun Wyn will obviously be a big loss, both on and off the field.”
The injured duo will be replaced by two of their countrymen, with Navidi coming in for Tipuric and Beard replacing Jones.
“We plan for Adam and Josh to join up with the touring party before we depart for South Africa tomorrow evening.”
Revised British and Irish Lions 37-man squad for the 2021 tour of South Arica after Alun Wyn Jones and Justin Tipuric withdrew through injury on Saturday:
Backs (16): Josh Adams (WAL), Bundee Aki (IRL), Dan Biggar (WAL), Elliot Daly (ENG), Gareth Davies (WAL), Owen Farrell (ENG), Chris Harris (SCO), Robbie Henshaw (IRL), Stuart Hogg (SCO), Conor Murray (IRL, capt), Ali Price (SCO), Louis Rees-Zammit (WAL), Finn Russell (SCO), Duhan van der Merwe (SCO), Anthony Watson (ENG), Liam Williams (WAL)
Forwards (21): Adam Beard (WAL), Tadhg Beirne (IRL), Jack Conan (IRL), Luke Cowan-Dickie (ENG), Tom Curry (ENG), Zander Fagerson (SCO), Taulupe Faletau (WAL), Tadhg Furlong (IRL), Jamie George (ENG), Iain Henderson (IRL), Jonny Hill (ENG), Maro Itoje (ENG), Wyn Jones (WAL), Courtney Lawes (ENG), Josh Navidi (WAL), Ken Owens (WAL), Sam Simmonds (ENG), Kyle Sinckler (ENG), Rory Sutherland (SCO), Mako Vunipola (ENG), Hamish Watson (SCO)
3 July: v Lions, Johannesburg
7 July: v Sharks, Johannesburg
10 July: v Bulls, Pretoria
14 July: v South Africa A, Cape Town
17 July: v Stormers, Cape Town
24 July: SOUTH AFRICA v BRITISH AND IRISH LIONS, 1ST TEST, Cape Town
31 July: SOUTH AFRICA v BRITISH AND IRISH LIONS, 2ND TEST, FNB Stadium, Johannesburg
7 August: SOUTH AFRICA v BRITISH AND IRISH LIONS, 3RD TEST, FNB Stadium, Johannesburg
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