Lions boss Warren Gatland has named his team for the final warm-up game ahead of the test series against South Africa, with Robbie Henshaw making his welcome return from injury.
The tourists were defeated on Wednesday evening, succumbing to a 17-13 loss against a star-studded South Africa ‘A’ side. They found themselves 17-3 behind at the half-time break before coming back into the contest early in the second-half.
The most notable of the selections for the game against The Stormers this Saturday sees Leinster's Robbie Henshaw return to the starting XV having missed the last four games for the Lions with a hamstring injury.
— British & Irish Lions (@lionsofficial) July 15, 2021
He comes into the side alongside Ireland teammates Tadhg Furlong, Tadhg Beirne and Jack Conan.
Stuart Hogg comes back from self isolation to captain the side in the absence of Conor Murray, while returning tour captain, Alun Wyn-Jones, who has not even arrived back in the country yet, makes the bench.
“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,” Gatland said after naming his team.
For the matchday 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.
Obviously it’s a tight turnaround from Wednesday’s game but we’re in pretty good shape.
The South Africa ‘A’ game was a physical encounter – we always knew it would be – but we’ve come out of it pretty much intact and ready to go 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.
15. Stuart Hogg – captain (Exeter Chiefs, Scotland),
14. Josh Adams (Cardiff Rugby, Wales),
13. Elliot Daly (Saracens, England),
12. Robbie Henshaw (Leinster Rugby, Ireland),
11. Duhan van der Merwe (Worcester Warriors, Scotland),
10. Marcus Smith (Harlequins, England),
9. Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland).
1. Rory Sutherland (Worcester Warriors, Scotland),
2. Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, England),
3. Tadhg Furlong (Leinster Rugby, Ireland),
4. Adam Beard (Ospreys, Wales),
5. Jonny Hill (Exeter Chiefs, England),
6. Tadhg Beirne (Munster Rugby, Ireland),
7. Hamish Watson (Edinburgh Rugby, Scotland),
8. Jack Conan (Leinster Rugby, Ireland).
Replacements: Jamie George, Mako Vunipola, Zander Fagerson, Alun Wyn Jones, Sam Simmonds, Gareth Davies, Chris Harris, Louis Rees-Zammit