Forwards Tom Curry, Josh Navidi, Adam Beard to debut for Lions against Sharks
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DURBAN - Three British and Irish Lions players in Tom Curry (England), Josh Navidi (Wales) and Adam Beard (Wales) will make their debuts for the Lions on Wednesday evening when the tourists take on the Sharks at Emirates Airline Park (kick-off 7pm).
It is a much-changed team to the one that routed the local Lions 60-14 and is closer to the powerful line-up that beat Japan in the Lions’ pre-tour warm-up in Edinburgh.
Ireland lock Iain Henderson will captain the Lions for the first time, while tour captain, Conor Murray is named amongst the replacements.
“It’s a quick turnaround from Saturday’s match against the Sigma Lions, but we’ll be ready to go by Wednesday night,” said Lions coach Warren Gatland.
“I’m pleased we managed to come through the weekend’s game unscathed, and the boys have rested and recovered well. We feel like we’re slowly building, but, as ever, there’s still room for improvement in all facets of our game.
“Wednesday night is another chance for us to have a look at a few more combinations. I’m looking forward to seeing how the back row goes; it’s an exciting mixture and one that we hope will offer something a bit different.
“We expect another physical test against a Sharks side that is known for their power play and ambition.
Lions team (15-1)
Liam Williams; Anthony Watson, Elliot Daly, Bundee Aki, Duhan van der Merwe; Dan Biggar, Gareth Davies; Sam Simmonds, Tom Curry, Josh Navidi; Adam Beard, Iain Henderson (capt); Zander Fagerson, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Mako Vunipola
Replacements: Ken Owens, Rory Sutherland, Tadhg Furlong, Tadhg Beirne, Jack Conan, Conor Murray, Stuart Hogg, Chris Harris