CHRIS HARRIS has been added to the Lions starting XV for Saturday’s second Test against South Africa in Cape Town, but it is less positive news for fellow Scots Ali Price and Rory Sutherland who drop to the bench, and for Hamish Watson who is out of the match-day squad altogether.
Conor Murray now starts at scrum-half and Mako Vunipola is at loose-head prop, with the rest of the starting side being kept the same as the one which initially took the field in last weekend’s pulsating 22-17 victory for the tourists over the world champions.
Harris’s selection means that Elliot Daly drops to the bench meaning Liam Williams misses out on the match-day 23. Taulupe Faletau is added to the replacements list in place of Watson and will win his fifth Test cap when he enters the fray.
Dan Biggar will play stand-off subject to completing the return-to-play protocol and assessment by an independent concussion. He will not be able to train until Thursday.
“As always, selection was incredibly tough,” said head coach Warren Gatland. “However, we’ve made the changes we think are the right calls for the weekend’s game.
“It’ll be another tight contest. We know the Springboks will be hurting and they’ll throw everything at us on Saturday, but I think there’s plenty more to come from us too. We feel we can go up another level from where we were in the first Test and I would expect us to improve.
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“It’s the biggest game on the Tour and we have to embrace the expectation that comes with it. As players and coaches, these are the games you want to be involved in. We’re relishing the opportunity to face the Springboks again on Saturday and potentially seal a Series win.”
The Lions have lost just two Series after winning the first Test, against New Zealand in 1930 and Australia in 2001.
British & Irish Lions (v South Africa in the second Test @ Cape Town Stadium, Saturday 5pm BST): S Hogg; A Watson, C Harris, R Henshaw, D van der Merwe; D Biggar, C Murray; M Vunipola, L Cowan-Dickie, T Furlong, M Itoje, A Jones (captain), C Lawes, T Curry, J Conan. Substitutes: K Owens, R Sutherland, K Sinckler, T Beirne, T Faletau, A Price, O Farrell, E Daly.