Sports Reporter
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2 minute read
9 Jul 2021
4:11 pm

Jamie George takes charge of Lions in Sharks ‘rematch’

Sports Reporter

The teams will meet for the second time in four days after the tourists' match against the Bulls was cancelled.

Jamie George will lead the Lions in their tour match against the Sharks in Pretoria on Saturday. Picture: David Rogers/Getty Images

Saracens and England hooker Jamie George will lead the British and Irish Lions in their match against the Sharks at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday (kick-off 6pm).

The team shows 13 changes from the side that beat the same Sharks outfit 54-7 at Ellis Park on Wednesday.

The Lions are facing the Sharks for the second time in four days after their scheduled tour match against the Bulls was cancelled earlier this week because of an outbreak of Covid in the hosts’ camp.

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The only two players retained from that match on Wednesday are backs Elliot Daly and South Africa-born wing Duhan van der Merwe.

The good news in the Lions camp is that the squad returned a set of negative results from their latest round of Covid testing.

On Wednesday, on the eve of their first match against the Sharks, one member of staff tested positive for Covid-19 and as a result, the individual and four close contacts (one player and three members of staff) are being isolated at the team hotel.

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“It’s obviously been a slightly turbulent week, but we remain determined to keep rolling with the punches,” said Gatland.

“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.”

British and Irish Lions team: Liam Williams, Anthony Watson, Elliot Daly, Chris Harris, Duhan van der Merwe, Dan Biggar, Gareth Davies, Jack Conan, Hamish Watson, Tadhg Beirne, Jonny Hill, Maro Itoje, Tadhg Furlong, Jamie George (capt), Rory Sutherland. Bench: Ken Owens, Wyn Jones, Kyle Sinckler, Courtney Lawes, Sam Simmonds, Tom Curry, Conor Murray, Finn Russell