British & Irish Lions vs Japan: Rugby Union Tour Warm-Up Test – Live!

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Gatland had to shuffle his pack late after Hamish Watson and Zander Fagerson both suffered concussions and back spasms respectively. Justin Tipuric and Tadgh Furlong are the replacements for a team that has no shortage of potential flavor for the test team. Murray and Biggar are the top picks for many, as are Henshaw, Adams, Owens, Beirne and of course Captain Alun Wyn Jones. Winger Duhan van der Merwe makes his Lions debut in front of his home crowd alongside his 2021 Six Nations teammate and revelation Rory Sutherland.

More than anything, the Lions team is demonstrating today that no matter what the slicing and the change, the options are always top notch.

Japan haven’t played international rugby since 2019, but their squad has ten who started the Rugby World Cup quarter-final that year. Star flanker Kazuki Himeno arrived on a flight from New Zealand very recently after playing for the Crusaders and probably thinks it’s Friday again. Watch out for him on the bench.

British and Irish Lions: Liam Williams ; Josh Adams, Robbie Henshaw, Bundee Aki, Duhan van der Merwe ; Dan Biggar, Conor Murray ; Rory Sutherland, Ken Owens, Tadhg Furlong, Iain Henderson, Alun Wyn Jones (capitaine), Tadhg Beirne, Justin Tipuric, Jack Conan.

Substitutes: Jamie George, Wyn Jones, Kyle Sinckler, Courtney Lawes, Taulupe Faletau, Ali Price, Owen Farrell, Anthony Watson.

Japan: Ryohei Yamanaka; Kotaro Matsushima, Timothy Lafaele, Ryoto Nakamura, Siosaia Fifita; Yu Tamura, Kaito Shigeno; Keita Inagaki, Atsushi Sakate, Ji-won Koo, Wimpie van der Walt, James Moore, Michael Leitch (capitaine), Lappies Labuschagne, Amanaki Mafi.

Substitutes: Kosuke Horikoshi, Craig Millar, Asaeli Ai Valu, Jack Cornelsen, Kazuki Himeno, Tevita Tatafu, Naoto Saito, Rikiya Matsuda.

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