Jamie George will lead the side in Pretoria


British & Irish Lions team to play the Sharks

Here we go again – Lions v Sharks part two! With the Bulls a no-go due to covid making its way into their camp,  Warren Gatland will send his British & Irish Lions 2021 to face the Sharks for a second time in a week. This time it’s in Loftus Versfeld, in Pretoria.

Jamie George has been named captain while there are 13 changes to the team that hammered the Sharks earlier in the week. Only Elliot Daly at 13 and Duhan van der Merwe on the wing, keep their spots.

Coach Gatland said: “It’s obviously been a slightly turbulent week, but we remain determined to keep rolling with the punches, In many ways, the challenges we’ve faced this week have strengthened our resolve to do everything we can to overcome the challenges created by covid.

“The feeling in the camp on Wednesday night was just to give it a crack – I was really proud by how everyone reacted, particularly the match day squad who would have never prepared for a game like that before.

“Saturday is another opportunity to see how the boys go and for us as coaches to try out a few more combinations ahead of the Test series.

“I have long been an admirer of Jamie’s leadership skills, so I am delighted to name him skipper.

“We want to pass on thanks to the Sharks boys for fronting up and going again on Saturday. That’s the spirit of rugby, and a great chance for them to have another shot at us.”

According to the Lions, on Friday morning the Tour PCR screening programme returned a negative set of results.

They add that on Wednesday, one member of staff tested positive for Covid and now them and four close contacts (one player and three members of staff) are being isolated at the team hotel.

Courtney Lawes replaced Maro Itoje in the starting line-up on Saturday as the England lock was suffering from “a mild gastric bug” while Bundee Aki came onto the bench for Finn Russell, who has an Achilles issue.

British & Irish Lions team to play the Sharks – Saturday 10 July

Liam Williams; Anthony Watson, Elliot Daly, Chris Harris, Duhan van der Merwe; Dan Biggar, Gareth Davies; Rory Sutherland, Jamie George (captain), Tadhg Furlong, Courtney Lawes, Jonny Hill, Tadhg Beirne, Hamish Watson, Jack Conan.

Replacements: Ken Owens, Wyn Jones, Kyle Sinckler, Adam Beard, Sam Simmonds, Tom Curry, Conor Murray, Bundee Aki.

British & Irish Lions team to play the Sharks – Wednesday 07 July

Josh Adams; Louis Rees-Zammit, Elliot Daly, Bundee Aki, Duhan van der Merwe; Owen Farrell, Ali Price; Mako Vunipola, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Zander Fagerson, Iain Henderson (captain), Adam Beard, Josh Navidi, Tom Curry, Sam Simmonds.

Replacements: Ken Owens, Rory Sutherland, Tadhg Furlong, Maro Itoje, Jack Conan, Hamish Watson, Finn Russell, Taulupe Faletau.

All tour matches are televised live on Sky Sports in the UK and Ireland.

Can’t get to the shops? You can download the digital edition of Rugby World straight to your tablet or subscribe to the print edition to get the magazine delivered to your door.

Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.