Five Scots involved in first Test according to leaked Lions team

Stuart Hogg, Duhan van der Merwe and Ali Price all set to start, with Rory Sutherland and Hamish Watson on the bench

Duhan van der Merwe will start on the wing for the Lions against South Africa on Saturday, it has been reported. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Duhan van der Merwe will start on the wing for the Lions against South Africa on Saturday, it has been reported. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

STUART HOGG, Duhan van der Merwe and Ali Price will all be in the starting XV for Saturday’s first Test against South Africa in Cape Town, according to The Times newspaper.

Two more Scots in the shape of Rory Sutherland and Hamish Watson will be named on the bench, according to the report. Meanwhile, Alun Wyn Jones appears set to start as captain of the side, just four weeks after the Welsh second-row dislocated his shoulder playing for the Lions in their warm-up match against Japan at Murrayfield.

The team selection was scheduled to take place on Thursday but has now been moved forward to 10am BST tomorrow [Wednesday]. Head coach Gatland revealed the team to the players before this afternoon’s training session at the squad’s base an hour from Cape Town.


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It looks like disappointing news for Scotland centre Chris Harris, who has been one of the form players on the tour so far, as he misses out to versatile Englishman Elliot Daly.

Zander Fagerson also appears to have failed to make the match-day squad, with Tadhg Furlong starting at tight-had prop and Kyle Sinckler, who didn’t make the initial squad and was only called up when Andrew Porter injured his foot pre-tour, selected on the bench.

Gatland has gone for a six-two split between forwards and backs on the bench, giving an indication of where he believes the contest will be won or lost.

If this team is correct then the full breakdown of the 23-man squad is five Scots, eight Englishmen, six Irishmen and four Welshmen – which is slightly surprising given Gatland’s long association with Wales and the fact that they were Six Nations champions earlier this year.

The breakdown for this starting XV is six Englishmen, and three each from Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Expected British & Irish Lions team to face South Africa: S Hogg; A Watson, E Daly, R Henshaw, D van der Merwe; D Biggar, A Price; W Jones, L Cowan-Dickie, T Furlong, A W Jones (c), M Itoje, C Lawes, T Curry, J Conan.
Replacements: K Owens, R Sutherland, K Sinckler, T Beirne, H Watson, I Henderson, C Murray, O Farrell.


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About David Barnes 2476 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including he Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.

11 Comments

  1. Not sure where this has come from, but if correct then the Scots have got no less than they deserve – for six of the eight have been excellent, with Finn missing out due to injury. Hoggie must be full back, of course he must, while Ali Price is a no-brainer at scrum half. Thought Duhan might miss out to a Hogg, Watson, Adams back three and no Josh is a surprise. I also thought Toonie and Tandy would fight tooth and nail to get Harris into the team, while the ‘versatile’ Eliot Daly does not do it for me I’m afraid. Sutherland must consider himself unlucky not to start – didn’t quite nail the final audition. And for all they say about Curry, Hamish is the man I would rather have standing next to me going into battle. He is a warrior. There, 9.58 – two minutes before the announcement. Let’s see how right the rumour factory is!

  2. I will wait till I hear the team, before I make my mind up. However if Price is starting that’s a well earned reward for his performance so far. I would be most surprised if there is no Adam’s and Murray and Farrell on the bench honestly.

  3. Williams prob still going through HIA protocols, not sure that Adam’s head is in the right place after becoming a Dad the other day…. This is only 1st test, match day squads for next two could be very different, and it’s great to see the Scots deservedly starting. Mish has a big part to play in this game and the others to come – Harris unlucky but prob loses out due to the 6-2 split as more second row covered in case AWJ has a problem? Fagerson is only one injury or jiggle from being on the bench next test….

    Bring it on… 😁

  4. Irrespective of whether that is the test team or not the outcry in Ireland and Wales is delicious to witness. The Irish especially have a massive chip on their shoulder regarding Scottish players. Their online blogs are outrageously anti Scottish and some of their ex players and journalists just cant hide their negativity towards us. The Irish times led with , its astonishing that Hogg and DVM have been chosen ahead of Williams and Adams and you can imagine their take on the Conor Murray omission.

  5. Irrespective of whether that is the test team or not the outcry in Ireland and Wales is delicious to witness. The Irish especially have a massive chip on their shoulder regarding Scottish players. Their online blogs are outrageously anti Scottish and some of their ex players and journalists just cant hide their negativity towards us. The Irish times led with , its astonishing that Hogg and DVM have been chosen ahead of Williams and Adams and you can imagine their take on the Conor Murray omission.

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    • I get the vibe that many over there haven’t forgiven Scotland for not voting for the WC to be hosted there, not quite sure how they thought it was a given.

  6. Looks like the heavy mob from the bench with us trying to start to kick and run the leather off the ball from the first whistle with a few “special” plays added in to the mix.

    • He can have a huge impact coming on; he has done it before. I had hoped that Curry and Watson might start. The SA team is formidable. let’s get into them.
      JB

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