Sports Reporter
2 minute read
3 Aug 2021
1:16 pm

Gatland shows hand for third Lions Test against Springboks

Sports Reporter

The Lions boss has made a total of six changes to his starting team for the series decider against the world champions.

Winger Josh Adams is one of the new faces in the British and Irish Lions Test team. Picture: David Rogers/Getty Images

British & Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland has made six changes to the starting XV which lost to the Springboks last Saturday in Cape Town.

The defeat sees the Lions Series level at 1-1 going into this weekend’s final Test match.

The tour’s leading try-scorer, Josh Adams, makes his Lions Test debut on the right wing joining Duhan van der Merwe who keeps his place on the left. Liam Williams is added at fullback to complete the back three.

Bundee Aki is included at inside centre to win his first Test cap, joining Robbie Henshaw who switches to 13.

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Dan Biggar is retained at flyhalf with Ali Price starting at scrumhalf having been named as a replacement last weekend.

In the pack, there are two changes to the front-row with injury-free Wyn Jones taking his place on the loosehead to make his Lions Test debut alongside Ken Owens, who is promoted from the bench to start his first Test of the tour at hooker. Tadhg Furlong continues on the tighthead to win his sixth-successive Test cap.

Alun Wyn Jones is named as captain to win his 12th consecutive cap moving him alongside Graham Price and Mike Gibson in the list of most Lions Test appearances. The iconic Welshman is again partnered in the second row by Maro Itoje.

The back row remains the same with Courtney Lawes at blindside flanker, Tom Curry on the openside and Jack Conan at No 8.

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On the bench, Adam Beard, Finn Russell, and Sam Simmonds feature for the first time in the Test series and will all win their first Lions cap should they take the field. Kyle Sinckler is included subject to the outcome of a disciplinary hearing.

“The matchday 23 have an incredibly special opportunity in front of them – to seal a Lions series victory in South Africa,” said Gatland.

“It doesn’t get much bigger than this and we’re excited by the challenge that faces us on Saturday.

“We’ve no excuses from last week, the Springboks put us under pressure in the second half and deserved the win. We have to be much better than that second half performance, and I believe we will be.”


Liam Williams, Josh Adams, Robbie Henshaw, Bundee Aki, Duhan van der Merwe, Dan Biggar, Ali Price, Jack Conan, Tom Curry, Courtney Lawes, Alun Wyn Jones (capt), Maro Itoje, Tadhg Furlong, Ken Owens, Wyn Jones. Bench: Luke Cowan-Dickie, Mako Vunipola, *Kyle Sinckler – subject to outcome of disciplinary hearing, Adam Beard, Sam Simmonds, Conor Murray, Finn Russell, Elliot Daly