Saints duo set to be involved in the action as Lions get lift off
Saints duo Dan Biggar and Courtney Lawes will both be involved for the British & Irish Lions when they take on Japan at BT Murrayfield Stadium on Saturday (kick off 3pm).
Boss Warren Gatland has named his team for the Vodafone Lions 1888 Cup clash, and Biggar gets the nod to steer the ship from fly-half, while Lawes is among the replacements.
A total of 16,500 supporters will be welcomed to Scottish Rugby’s national stadium in Edinburgh this weekend for the first-ever clash between the Lions and the Brave Blossoms.
The game against the 2019 Rugby World Cup quarter-finalists will be shown live and exclusively on Channel 4 and raises the curtain for the Lions’ eagerly awaited Tour to South Africa, which culminates in a three Test series against Rugby World Cup champions, the Springboks.
“We’re anticipating a tough game against Japan – a side that like 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.
“I’m pleased with the progress we’ve made during our training camp in Jersey so far, but we’ve a long way to go.
"You can see that the squad are starting to get to grips with our game strategies, but, as always with a Lions Tour, this takes time to bed in.
“We’re in a good place though and I can tell there’s a lot more to come from this group.
“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 sixteen thousand supporters in Edinburgh. I’m sure the crowd will give the players an enormous lift before we depart for South Africa on Sunday.”
The Lions’ eight-game Tour to South Africa kicks off on Saturday, July 3 when they play the Emirates Lions at Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg.
Three weeks later, Cape Town Stadium will host the opening Test match of the 2021 Castle Lager Lions Series – the first Lions Test in the Mother City since 1997.
The British and Irish tourists then return to Gauteng and play the second and third Tests at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on July 31 and August 8 respectively.
Lions team to face Japan
15. Liam Williams (Scarlets, Wales) #833
14. Josh Adams (Cardiff Rugby, Wales)
13. Robbie Henshaw (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #824
12. Bundee Aki (Connacht Rugby, Ireland)
11. Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh Rugby, Scotland)
10. Dan Biggar (Saints, Wales) #821
9. Conor Murray (Munster Rugby, Ireland) #790
1. Rory Sutherland (Edinburgh Rugby, Scotland)
2. Ken Owens (Scarlets, Wales) #829
3. Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland)
4. Iain Henderson (Ulster Rugby, Ireland) #808
5. Alun Wyn Jones – Captain (Ospreys, Wales) #761
6. Tadhg Beirne (Munster Rugby, Ireland)
7. Hamish Watson (Edinburgh Rugby, Scotland)
8. Jack Conan (Leinster Rugby, Ireland)
Jamie George (Saracens, England) #819
Wyn Jones (Scarlets, Wales)
Tadhg Furlong (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #818
Courtney Lawes (Saints, England) #826
Taulupe Faletau (Bath Rugby, Wales) #779
Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland)
Owen Farrell (Saracens, England) #780
Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, England) #816