The tourists got off to a winning start before leaving for South Africa

Lions defeat Japan in tour opener

The British & Irish Lions got their 2021 tour off to a winning start, seeing off Japan 28-10 in Edinburgh. But it comes at a cost with an early Alun Wyn Jones injury ruling the captain out of the tour to South Africa. The Lions management are now looking at replacements.

The Lions will depart with a win under their belts, though.

It could be the answer to a quiz question years from now – the first try of the 2021 Lions tour went to Josh Adams.

With a skip to the side and a show of power over a short distance, the wing got the team off to scoring start.

Not to be outdone, his partner on the other wing, Duhan van der Merwe, got in on the act too, scoring in the stadium he has called home in recent years. Following his fellow wide-out into contact, he picked up from the base and ran it in untouched.

Irish outside centre Rob Henshaw made it three for the hosts before half-time.

In the second half, openside flanker Tadhg Beirne ran a fine line onto Dan Biggar’s pass to motor over for a fourth. Biggar – who was man of the match – converted all four tries.

It wasn’t all one-way traffic as Japanese substitute Kazuki Himeno showed why he has been such a hit in New Zealand rugby, dragging defender with him in a surge for the line for Japan’s sole try of the day.

Fly-half Yu Tamara also scored a penalty to give Japan ten points for the day.

With the Premiership final also concluding today, the remaining members of the squad will join up with the tourists ahead of their departure for South Africa. The Lions play their first tour match in South Africa against the Emirates Lions, on 3 July.

Squad changes will be updated in due course.

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