The British and Irish Lions are set to name their team for Saturday’s opening Test against the Springboks at 10am.
Warren Gatland and his coaching team brought their team announcement forward by 24 hours following the leaking of a matchday 23 to the British press on Tuesday. The squad were told the team before training on Tuesday afternoon.
Ireland’s Robbie Henshaw, Tadhg Furlong and Jack Conan are expected in the starting XV, along with Iain Henderson, Tadhg Beirne and Conor Murray among the replacements.
The returning Alun Wyn Jones is set to start in the secondrow and captain the team.
The first Test kicks off on Saturday at 5pm at the Cape Town Stadium. SA Rugby confirmed on Tuesday that the second and third tests will be moved from Johannesburg to Cape Town, meaning the Lions will remain there for the remainder of the tour and play the entire series at sea level.
They were scheduled to return to Johannesburg following the first Test in Cape Town on Saturday but the Gauteng region is the epicentre of the third wave of the Covid pandemic.
BRITISH & IRISH LIONS (possible): Stuart Hogg; Anthony Watson, Elliot Daly, Robbie Henshaw, Duhan van der Merwe; Dan Biggar, Ali Price; Wyn Jones, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Tadhg Furlong; Alun Wyn Jones (Capt), Maro Itoje; Courtney Lawes, Tom Curry, Jack Conan.
Replacements: Ken Owens, Rory Sutherland, Kyle Sinckler, Tadhg Beirne, Hamish Watson, Iain Henderson, Conor Murray, Owen Farrell.