Zander Fagerson drops out of Lions team for Japan clash

Tight-head prop has joined Hamish Watson on the injured list after suffering a back spasm

Zander Fagerson will have to wait for his Lions debut after suffering a back spasm which has ruled him out of Saturday's match versus Japan at Murrayfield. Image: © Craig Watson -www.craigwatson.co.uk
Zander Fagerson will have to wait for his Lions debut after suffering a back spasm which has ruled him out of Saturday's match versus Japan at Murrayfield. Image: © Craig Watson -www.craigwatson.co.uk

ZANDER FAGERSON has become the second Scottish player inside the space of 24 hours to drop out of the Lions team for this Saturday’s pre-tour match against Japan at Murrayfield, joining flanker Hamish Watson (concussion) on the injured players list.

The tight-head prop has suffered a back spasm and has been replaced in starting XV by Irishman Tadhg Furlong, with Englishman Kyle Sinckler being added to the bench.

“It’s a shame for Zander not to be able to run out at Murrayfield as a Lion, but he’s not quite one hundred percent,” said Lions head coach Warren Gatland. “He’ll get a chance to start in the next two games and stake a claim for a Test spot in South Africa, so it’s not worth the risk.”

Gatland had initially selected four Scots in his starting XV for the first ever match to be played by the famous touring side on Scottish soil, but now only loose-head prop Rory Sutherland and winger Duhan van der Merwe will begin Saturday’s game, with scrum-half Ali Price set to feature off the bench.

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, T Furlong, I Henderson, AW Jones, T Beirne, J Tipuric, J Conan.

Replacements: J George, W Jones, K Sinckler, C Lawes, T Faletau, A Price, O Farrell, A Watson.


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About David Barnes 3038 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.

4 Comments

  1. It was a back spasm…could happen at any point, and particularly to forwards. Physio will get that straightened out. He’ll get his chance.

  2. Am beginning to wonder if Sinckler has placed a hex on the men ahead of him on the Lions tighthead pecking order. From out of the squad to the bench. Look out Mr Furlong!

  3. Hmmm… shades of Agatha Christie here. Two Scotland players left in the team, but how many will there be by Saturday???

  4. shame for him, good to keep him fresh for next week, shows that the medical team are putting players first which is a big thumbs up for me !

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