SCOTLAND flanker Hamish Watson has dropped out of the Lions team for Saturday’s pre-tour clash against Japan at Murrayfield after suffering a concussion at training yesterday [Tuesday]. He has been replaced in the side by Welshman Justin Tipuric.
Watson was one of four Scots named in the starting XV by Warren Gatland yesterday [Tuesday], with the head coach praising the 29-year-old’s performances during this year’s Six Nations, when he was voted player-of-the-tournament.
With only five further matches being played before the Test series begins against the world champion Springboks at the end of next month, every opportunity to make an impression will count, and Watson faces ferocious competition for the No7 jersey against Tipuric and Englishman Tom Curry.
Timescales for the return to action following a concussion are notoriously unpredictable and the press release issued by the Lions this afternoon stated only that he “will begin the graduated return-to-play protocol”.
Revised British & Irish Lions team to face Japan at Murrayfield on Saturday (kick-off: 3pm): L Williams; J Adams, R Henshaw, B Aki, D van der Merwe; D Biggar, C Murray; R Sutherland, K Owens, Z Fagerson, I Henderson, AW Jones, T Beirne, J Tipuric, J Conan.
Replacements: J George, W Jones, T Furlong, C Lawes, T Faletau, A Price, O Farrell, A Watson.