Conor Murray Starts Second Test For The Lions
27th July 2021 By The Editor
British & Irish Lions Head Coach, Warren Gatland, has made three changes to the starting XV which beat the Springboks last Saturday to take a 1-0 lead in the Castle Lager Lions Series.
Conor Murray (Munster Rugby, Ireland), Chris Harris (Gloucester Rugby, Scotland) and Mako Vunipola (Saracens, England) come into the side for the second Test against South Africa at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday 31 July (kick off 5pm BST).
Murray’s Munster team-mate Tadhg Beirne is again named among the replacements with Damian de Allende starting for the Springboks. Scroll down to see both teams.
Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys, Wales) is named captain to win his 11th successive Lions Test cap. The Welshman is again partnered by last Saturday’s Castle Lager player of the match, Maro Itoje (Saracens, England).
Vunipola packs down with hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, England) and Tadhg Furlong (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) to complete the front row.
Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, England) wins his fourth Lions Test cap on the blind side flank joining Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, England) on the open side and Jack Conan (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) at No. 8.
Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints, Wales), who will play fly-half subject to completing the return-to-play protocol and assessment by an independent concussion consultant, partners scrum-half Murray.
Harris joins Robbie Henshaw (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) in midfield to win his first Test cap, while the back three of Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, England), Duhan van der Merwe (Worcester Warriors, Scotland) and Stuart Hogg (Exeter Chiefs, Scotland) stays the same.
Taulupe Faletau (Bath Rugby, Wales) is added to a bench and will win his fifth Test cap should he enter the fray.
Historically, the Lions have lost just two Series after winning the first Test (against New Zealand in 1930 and Australia in 2001).
“As always, selection was incredibly tough,” said Gatland. “However, we’ve made the changes we think are the right calls for the weekend’s game.
“It’ll be another tight contest. We know the Springboks will be hurting and they’ll throw everything at us on Saturday, but I think there’s plenty more to come from us too. We feel we can go up another level from where we were in the first Test and I would expect us to improve.
“It’s the biggest game on the Tour and we have to embrace the expectation that comes with it. As players and coaches, these are the games you want to be involved in. We’re relishing the opportunity to face the Springboks again on Saturday and potentially seal a Series win.”
Saturday’s clash against the reigning World Champions is the second of three Tests matches in the Castle Lager Lions Series to be shown live and exclusively on Sky Sports.
15 Stuart Hogg (Exeter Chiefs, Scotland) #783
14 Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, England) #816
13 Chris Harris (Gloucester Rugby, Scotland) #844
12 Robbie Henshaw (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #824
11 Duhan van der Merwe (Worcester Warriors, Scotland) #841
10 Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints, Wales) #821
9 Conor Murray (Munster Rugby, Ireland) #790
1 Mako Vunipola (Saracens, England) #787
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 (Northampton Saints, England) #826
7 Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, England) #853
8 Jack Conan (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #839
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 Taulupe Faletau (Bath Rugby, Wales) #779
21 Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland) #843
22 Owen Farrell (Saracens, England) #780
23 Elliot Daly (Saracens, England) #822
15 Willie le Roux (Toyota Verblitz)
14 Cheslin Kolbe (Toulouse)
13 Lukhanyo Am (Cell C Sharks)
12 Damian de Allende (Munster)
11 Makazole Mapimpi (Cell C Sharks)
10 Handré Pollard (vice-captain, Montpellier)
9 Faf de Klerk (Sale Sharks)
1 Steven Kitshoff (DHL Stormers)
2 Bongi Mbonambi (DHL Stormers)
3 Frans Malherbe (DHL Stormers)
4 Eben Etzebeth (Toulon)
5 Franco Mostert (Honda Heat)
6 Siya Kolisi (captain, Cell C Sharks)
7 Pieter-Steph du Toit (DHL Stormers)
8 Jasper Wiese (Leicester Tigers)
16 Malcolm Marx (Kubota Spears)
17 Trevor Nyakane (Vodacom Bulls)
18 Vincent Koch (Saracens)
19 Lood de Jager (Sale Sharks)
20 Marco van Staden (Vodacom Bulls)
21 Kwagga Smith (Yamaha Júbilo)
22 Herschel Jantjies (DHL Stormers)
23 Damian Willemse (DHL Stormers)