ADVERTISEMENT
RugbyDump
REGISTER
LOGIN
ADVERTISEMENT
RugbyDump
Tuesday Jun 22, 2021

No England players in Gatland's starting line-up for opening Lions match against Japan

Warren Gatland has included just four English players on the bench as part of the British and Irish Lions squad to face Japan this weekend at Murrayfield.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Lions will play a warm-up on home soil for the first time since 2005, where they drew with Argentina in Cardiff, with Gatland picking six Irish players, five Welsh and four Scottish in the starting XV for the game in Edinburgh, which will be held in front of 16,500 spectators.

The four English players on the bench are: Jamie George, Owen Farrell (both of whom arrived into the larger training squad in Jersey following the Championship play-off against Ealing, Anthony Watson and Courtney Lawes.

Gatland says his selection was decided with the fast-paced, unstructured nature of the game Japan is expected to bring to the opening encounter, presumably with the English figures on the bench playing a bigger, controlling role once they come on.

“We’re anticipating a tough game against Japan – a side that likes to play at a high-tempo and shift the ball,” said Gatland. “We saw throughout the World Cup they have attacking threats across the park and a solid defence and set-piece.”

In the squad itself, there are Lions debuts for Josh Adams, Bundee Aki, Duhan van der Merwe, Rory Sutherland, Zander Fagerson, Tadgh Beirne, Hamish Watson and Jack Conan.

ADVERTISEMENT

On the bench is where the experience will likely come, as just Wyn Jones and Ali Price without any previous Lions starts.

Although the lack of English presence in the starting XV will inevitably leave some questioning Gatland’s selection process, the Kiwi coach says that there will be opportunities for each member of the squad to make their impression before the test matches begin.

“Everyone in the squad will get a start before the start of the Test series, so each member of the squad can put their hand up for Test selection. We are absolutely delighted to be playing in front of 16,500 supporters in Edinburgh. I’m sure the crowd will give the players an enormous lift before we depart for South Africa on Sunday.”

The British and Irish Lions starting XV to face Japan at Murrayfield on Saturday

ADVERTISEMENT

15. Liam Williams (Scarlets, Wales
14. Josh Adams (Cardiff Rugby, Wales)
13. Robbie Henshaw (Leinster Rugby, Ireland)
12. Bundee Aki (Connacht Rugby, Ireland)
11. Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh Rugby, Scotland)
10. Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints, Wales)
9. Conor Murray (Munster Rugby, Ireland)
1. Rory Sutherland (Edinburgh Rugby, Scotland)
2. Ken Owens (Scarlets, Wales)
3. Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland)
4. Iain Henderson (Ulster Rugby, Ireland)
5. Alun Wyn Jones – Captain (Ospreys, Wales)
6. Tadhg Beirne (Munster Rugby, Ireland)
7. Hamish Watson (Edinburgh Rugby, Scotland)
8. Jack Conan (Leinster Rugby, Ireland)

Replacements:
16. Jamie George (Saracens, England)
17. Wyn Jones (Scarlets, Wales)
18. Tadhg Furlong (Leinster Rugby, Ireland)
19. Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, England)
20. Taulupe Faletau (Bath Rugby, Wales)
21. Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland)
22. Owen Farrell (Saracens, England)
23. Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, England)

Related Articles

  • 5 WEEKS AGO

    Springboks will remain top regardless of...

  • 5 WEEKS AGO

    Gatland replacement shortlist grows for Lions...

  • 5 WEEKS AGO

    Frans Steyn returns as Boks make 12 changes...



ADVERTISEMENT

Great Tries

  • 5 DAYS AGO

    The time an All Blacks great combined with uncapped Australian legend to score 80-metre stunner

  • 5 DAYS AGO

    WATCH: Closer look at Barrett offload which wowed fans in Rugby Championship masterclass

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Re-live one of the most iconic hat tricks in Blues history by Fiji great Rupeni Caucaunibuca

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Re-live possibly Jonny Wilkinson's best Twickenham performance against All Blacks in 2002

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Four minutes of Quade Cooper highlights remind fans of his unique genius

View All

Big Hits & Dirty Play

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: 4 times players were kicked in the face under a high ball

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Barrett surprised by red card for high karate kick on Wallabies winger

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Classic Manoa smash rattles Twelvetrees in 2014 season opener

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Six Nations red card montage highlights recent surge in foul play

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Shane Williams still suffering from brutal 2004 Bakkies Botha hit

View All

See It To Believe It

  • 4 DAYS AGO

    Humble Quade's stirring tribute to SBW after match-winning heroics

  • 5 DAYS AGO

    WATCH: Closer look at Barrett offload which wowed fans in Rugby Championship masterclass

  • 5 DAYS AGO

    REACTION: Fans and pundits hail Cooper heroics after inspiring Test return

  • 6 DAYS AGO

    French players lift 1+ ton car off the road ahead of Top 14 game

  • 6 DAYS AGO

    Emotional Cooper gives deep and meaningful interview ahead of headline Wallabies return

View All

Funnies

  • 6 DAYS AGO

    French players lift 1+ ton car off the road ahead of Top 14 game

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Committed winger suffers unluckiest injury of the year after just TWO minutes

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    These ridiculous interviews vary from funny to downright bizarre

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: The kicking technique which had fans in stitches each weekend

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    The time Toby Flood got ended by the post during tight Heineken Cup clash

View All

Amateur

  • 46 WEEKS AGO

    Viral video of Scottish club brawl goes down a storm with rugby community

  • 83 WEEKS AGO

    RUGBYDUMP BLITZ: This Best of the Week round up is sure to entertain you

  • 83 WEEKS AGO

    RD BLITZ - Disaster, just when it looked so promising...

  • 83 WEEKS AGO

    That glorious moment that will live on forever, like it or not

  • 83 WEEKS AGO

    RD Blitz - PROP'S Lionel Messi wizardy creates incredible try

View All

Player Features

  • 8 WEEKS AGO

    A deeper look at Jason Robinson's incredible path to the top

  • 29 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Bumping off tacklers and taking high balls, Rob Kearney had an impressive Super Rugby debut

  • 35 WEEKS AGO

    Brian Moore on money in modern rugby and how it should never be compared to 'outlier' football

  • 36 WEEKS AGO

    Tuisova's wrecking ball montage will make you grateful you never made it as a pro

  • 42 WEEKS AGO

    New Zealand rugby pod admit Owen Farrell is world class

View All