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Six Irish Players Named In Lions Team To Play Japan

Six Irish Players Named In Lions Team To Play Japan
By PJ Browne Updated

Warren Gatland has named his Lions team for their warm-up game against Japan in Edinburgh this weekend.

The starting side features six Ireland players. Robbie Henshaw and Bundee Aki form an all-Irish midfield, while Conor Murray starts at scrum-half with Wales' Dan Biggar wearing 10.

In the forwards, Iain Henderson will partner Wales' Alun Wyn Jones in the second row, while Tadhg Beirne starts at blindside, Jack Conan at number eight and Scotland's Hamish Watson at openside.

Tadhg Furlong has been named on the bench.

"I’m pleased with the progress we’ve made during our training camp in Jersey so far, but we’ve a long way to go," said Lions head coach Gatland.

"You can see that the squad are starting to get to grips with our game strategies, but, as always with a Lions Tour, this takes time to bed in.

"We’re in a good place though and I can tell there’s a lot more to come from this group.

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"Everyone in the squad will get a start before the start of the Test Series, so each member of the squad can put their hand up for Test selection."

Saturday's game, which kicks off at 3pm, will be played in front of 16,500 fans.

The first game of the Lions tour of South Africa is on July 3rd when they face the Emirates Lions in Johannesburg. The first test against the Springboks is on July 24th.

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Lions team to play Japan

15. Liam Williams (Scarlets, Wales) #833
14. Josh Adams (Cardiff Rugby, Wales)
13. Robbie Henshaw (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #824
12. Bundee Aki (Connacht Rugby, Ireland)
11. Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh Rugby, Scotland)
10. Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints, Wales) #821
9. Conor Murray (Munster Rugby, Ireland) #790
1. Rory Sutherland (Edinburgh Rugby, Scotland)
2. Ken Owens (Scarlets, Wales) #829
3. Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland)
4. Iain Henderson (Ulster Rugby, Ireland) #808
5. Alun Wyn Jones – Captain (Ospreys, Wales) #761
6. Tadhg Beirne (Munster Rugby, Ireland)
7. Hamish Watson (Edinburgh Rugby, Scotland)
8. Jack Conan (Leinster Rugby, Ireland)

Replacements:

Jamie George (Saracens, England) #819
Wyn Jones (Scarlets, Wales)
Tadhg Furlong (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #818
Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, England) #826
Taulupe Faletau (Bath Rugby, Wales) #779
Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland)
Owen Farrell (Saracens, England) #780
Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, England) #816

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Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

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