Saints stars start in first Lions Test

Saints stars Courtney Lawes and Dan Biggar will start the British & Irish Lions’ opening Test match of the 2021 tour of South Africa.

Wednesday, 21st July 2021, 12:01 pm
Dan Biggar

Head coach Warren Gatland named his side on Wednesday morning, and it includes both Lawes and Biggar.

It will be a debut Test appearance for the Lions for No.10 Biggar, and a maiden Lions Test start for Lawes, who packs down on the blindside flank having won his previous two Lions Test caps from the bench in New Zealand in 2017.

“In my four tours as a Lions coach, this was by far the hardest Test selection I have been involved in,” said Gatland.

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“We couldn’t have asked for more from the players so far; they’ve all put their hands up and made picking a starting XV incredibly difficult. In truth, we would have been happy with any number of different combinations across the 23, however, we’re very pleased with the side we’ve settled on.

“We know what we’re coming up against on Saturday. It’s going to be an arm wrestle, there’s no doubt about it.

"We’ll need to front up physically and be ready to go from the first whistle.

"When we played South Africa ‘A’ last week we probably took a bit too long to get into the game, something we can’t afford to do that again this weekend.

“We need to make sure we play in the right areas of the field, not give them easy territory and take our chances when they come.

“While the stands will be empty in Cape Town Stadium, we know Lions fans from across the home nations will be cheering us on back home. We’ll do our best to get the win.”

SOUTH AFRICA v THE BRITISH & IRISH LIONS

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town

Kick-off: 5pm (BST)

15. Stuart Hogg (Exeter Chiefs, Scotland) #783

14. Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, England) #816

13. Elliot Daly (Saracens, England) #822

12. Robbie Henshaw (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #824

11. Duhan van der Merwe (Worcester Warriors, Scotland) #841

10. Dan Biggar (Saints, Wales) #821

9. Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland) #843

1. Wyn Jones (Scarlets, Wales) #842

2. Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, England) #851

3. Tadhg Furlong (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #818

4. Maro Itoje (Saracens, England) #825

5. Alun Wyn Jones – captain (Ospreys, Wales) #761

6. Courtney Lawes (Saints, England) #826

7. Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, England) #853

8. Jack Conan (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #839

Replacements

16. Ken Owens (Scarlets, Wales) #829

17. Rory Sutherland (Worcester Warriors, Scotland) #840

18. Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, England) #814

19. Tadhg Beirne (Munster Rugby, Ireland) #838

20. Hamish Watson (Edinburgh Rugby, Scotland) #847

21. Conor Murray (Munster Rugby, Ireland) #790

22. Owen Farrell (Saracens, England) #780

23. Liam Williams (Scarlets, Wales) #833