HomeRugbyBritish and Irish Lions: Warren Gatland makes sweeping modifications for third Check

British and Irish Lions: Warren Gatland makes sweeping modifications for third Check

The head coach of the British and Irish Lions, Warren Gatland, radically changed his squad on matchday for the crucial third test on Saturday against South Africa.

Hooker Ken Owens, Prop Wyn Jones, scrum half Ali Price, center Bundee Aki, wing Josh Adams and full-back Liam Williams all start in Cape Town.

Fly-half Finn Russell, Lock Adam Beard and number eight Sam Simmonds make their 23rd appearance for the first time in this series.

Owen Farrell, Taulupe Faletau, Anthony Watson and Stuart Hogg are from the 23.

After winning the first Test 22:17, the Lions were humiliated in the second 27-9 to host a winner-takes-all match that weekend.

“Matchday 23 has an incredibly special opportunity ahead of us – to seal a Lions series win in South Africa,” said Gatland.

“It doesn’t get much bigger and we are excited about the challenge we will face on Saturday.

“We don’t have any excuses from last week – the Springboks put us under pressure in the second half and deserved the win. We have to be a lot better than that performance in the second half and I think we will be.”

After the humiliation of the second test, Captain Alun Wyn Jones said he expected Gatland to make sweeping changes and the Lions chief has stayed on form, changing six of the starting XI and changing the bank’s complexion dramatically.


British and Irish Lions: Williams; Adams, Henshaw, Aki, Van der Merwe; Biggar, Price; Jones, Owens, Furlong, Itoje, A Wyn Jones (c), Lawes, Curry, Conan

Substitute: Cowan-Dickie, Vunipola, Sinckler, Beard, Simmonds, Murray, Russell, Daly

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