Watson starts against the Stormers

Watson starts against the Stormers

Edinburgh Rugby back-row Hamish Watson will make his fourth appearance for the British & Irish Lions against the DHL Stormers at Cape Town Stadium this Saturday 17 July (kick off 5pm BST).

The openside has showcased his characteristically relentless form in the famous red jersey on the tour so far, with this weekend's match the last chance to stake a claim for the first Test against the World Champion Springboks in a week's time.

Competition for places is a familiar talking point of Lions tours and the back-row is no different, with most commentators viewing the openside as a shootout between the master of mullets and England flanker, Tom Curry, who has also impressed.

Watson's Scotland teammate Stuart Hogg returns as captain after a period of isolation in this brand new starting XV from the one that went down 17-13 to South Africa ‘A’ on Wednesday.

New recruit, Marcus Smith (Harlequins, England), will make his Lions debut at fly half.

Robbie Henshaw (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) returns from a hamstring injury to take place in the midfield alongside Elliot Daly (Saracens, England).

Josh Adams (Cardiff Rugby, Wales) also returns to the starting line-up following the birth of his daughter last night.

Following his return to the squad, Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys, Wales) is also named among the replacements.

The game, which will be shown live and exclusively on Sky Sports, is the final Tour match before the start of three Tests against World Champions, the Springboks.

"It’s an important game as it’s the final chance for the coaching group to see the players perform prior to the start of the Test Series," said Gatland.

"For the match-day 23 it’s their last opportunity to stake a claim for a Test place, so I expect to see a highly motivated group of players.

"It is particularly pleasing to be able to name Stuart Hogg in the squad. He’s not had much luck on Lions Tours to date, so it’ll be great to see him cross the whitewash again.

"We learnt a lot from Wednesday’s game and I hope the defeat will serve us well. There’re still some areas of the game we need to tighten up on, particularly reducing our turnover rate."

British & Irish Lions team to play the DHL Stormers at the Cape Town Stadium
Saturday 17 July 2021 (kick-off 5pm BST)

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

14. Josh Adams (Cardiff Rugby, Wales) #836
13. Elliot Daly (Saracens, England) #822
12. Robbie Henshaw (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #824
11. Duhan van der Merwe (Worcester Warriors, Scotland) #841

10. Marcus Smith (Harlequins, England)
9. Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland) #843

1. Rory Sutherland (Worcester Warriors, Scotland) #840
2. Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, England) #851
3. Tadhg Furlong (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #818
4. Adam Beard (Ospreys, Wales) #852
5. Jonny Hill (Exeter Chiefs, England) #845
6. Tadhg Beirne (Munster Rugby, Ireland) #838
7. Hamish Watson (Edinburgh Rugby, Scotland) #847
8. Jack Conan (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #839

Replacements:
16. Jamie George (Saracens, England) #819
17. Mako Vunipola (Saracens, England) #787
18. Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland) #848
19. Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys, Wales) #761
20. Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs, England) #849
21. Gareth Davies (Scarlets, Wales) #850
22. Chris Harris (Gloucester Rugby, Scotland) #844
23. Louis Rees-Zammit (Gloucester Rugby, Wales) #846


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