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)

Comments




Related Articles

  • 89 WEEKS AGO

    Ellis Genge puts on his boxing gloves ready...

  • 90 WEEKS AGO

    Crazy scenes as player deliberately kicks...

  • 90 WEEKS AGO

    RFU make decision on transgender players...



ADVERTISEMENT

Great Tries

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Five of the best tries from the Investec Champions Cup

  • 11 WEEKS AGO

    The dummy that sold the whole of Perth - including the cameraman

  • 12 WEEKS AGO

    Bayonne score 'one of the best tries you'll ever see' in latest match against Exeter

  • 13 WEEKS AGO

    Baloucoune shows Andy Farrell what he's missing as the winger tears through Harlequins defence

  • 25 WEEKS AGO

    Seriously impressive Courtney Lawes compilation released after England player calls time on international career

View All

Big Hits & Dirty Play

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Fiji Drua player Lomani slapped with ban following elbow attack

  • 11 WEEKS AGO

    The sending off that rocked the Six Nations opener

  • 11 WEEKS AGO

    Wrecking ball beats 10 players to score full length of the pitch try

  • 21 WEEKS AGO

    Streaker causes major bust up as he tackles player

  • 21 WEEKS AGO

    Monster hit from Perrin leaves Bristol Bears player stunned

View All

See It To Believe It

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Tickets now on sale as World XV set to face France in thrilling encounter

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    '60 metres, plus change' - massive drop goal stuns fans

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Referee makes 'tackle of the season' as he gets too close to the action

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Christian Wade proves he still has the X-factor with 50 metre mazy finish for Racing 92

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Magical sevens try leaves defender stuck in the mud

View All

Funnies

  • 2 DAYS AGO

    Louis Rees-Zammit's real reason for NFL move exposed

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    George Ford falls victim to the kickers curse

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Awesome scenes as Blitzbok fan throws down at the HSBC SVNS

  • 8 WEEKS AGO

    Mike Philips recounts crazy night Shane Williams tried to fight Warren Gatland

  • 12 WEEKS AGO

    Shaun Edwards leaves room silent in new Six Nations documentary with French to English transition

View All

Amateur

  • 66 WEEKS AGO

    You Won’t See Many Better Than This Silky-Smooth Try From Llandovery RFC

  • 66 WEEKS AGO

    Incredible Scenes As Caldy RFC Hand Ealing First Championship Defeat Of The Season

  • 89 WEEKS AGO

    Dubious Score Decides Result Of Rugby's Biggest Schools Fixture

  • 89 WEEKS AGO

    Incredible Scenes At School Boys Rugby Match

  • 90 WEEKS AGO

    The Next Dominant Backrow?

View All

Player Features

  • 14 HOURS AGO

    Kyle Rowe’s remarkable journey from an Amazon warehouse to the international stage

  • 19 HOURS AGO

    Bath Rugby bolster squad with another young signing

  • 1 DAY AGO

    How Jordie Barrett could fit into the Leinster system

  • 1 DAY AGO

    Statement: Ken Owens forced to retire with immediate effect

  • 1 DAY AGO

    Statement: Finn Russell injury update

View All