This is the team for the Lions' first match on South African soil


British & Irish Lions team to play Sigma Lions

This is the Lions’ first match on South African soil in the 2021 tour and full-back Stuart Hogg has the honour of captaining the side against the Sigma Lions. The Scotland skipper leads a shaken up XV, where the only player retained from the win over Japan is left wing Josh Adams.

And it’s a side littered with big names and a backline picked to party. Finn Russell and Owen Farrell will dictate play and then there are all those runners… Check out the side below.

In comes the electric Louis Rees-Zammit on the other wing, defensive dynamo Chris Harris in the centre and Jonny Hill at lock – these three will make their Lions debuts in Johannesburg, in the first of eight Tour games in South Africa.

Replacements Luke Cowan-Dickie, Zander Fagerson, Sam Simmonds and Gareth Davies can also make their Lions debuts if they come off the bench on Saturday.

Talking of the selection, Lions Head coach Warren Gatland said: “It’s good to have arrived in Johannesburg and get the tour underway. 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.”

The match kicks off at 5pm on Saturday 26 June and will be televised live on Sky Sports.

British & Irish Lions team to play Sigma Lions

Stuart Hogg (captain); Louis Rees-Zammit, Chris Harris, Owen Farrell, Josh Adams (Cardiff Rugby, Wales); Finn Russell, Ali Price; Wyn Jones, Jamie George, Kyle Sinckler, Maro Itoje, Jonny Hill, Courtney Lawes, Hamish Watson, Taulupe Faletau.

Replacements: Luke Cowan-Dickie, Mako Vunipola, Zander Fagerson, Iain Henderson, Sam Simmonds, Gareth Davies, Bundee Aki, Elliot Daly.

After this match, the Lions next play again four days later, against the Sharks.

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