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.