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British and Irish Lions 2021: Tom Curry set for debut, Iain Henderson is captain

Tom Curry has recovered from a pectoral harm and can face the Sharks
Date: Wednesday, 7 July Kick-off: 18:00 BST Venue: Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg
Protection: Stay textual content commentary on the BBC Sport web site and app

England flanker Tom Curry will make his first look for the British and Irish Lions whereas Eire’s Iain Henderson shall be captain towards the Sharks in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

Wales lock Adam Beard and again row Josh Navidi may even make their debuts after being referred to as up as replacements.

Sam Simmonds will make his first worldwide begin in three years.

Head coach Warren Gatland says there may be “enormous competitors” for a spot within the Take a look at facet within the again row.

“I spoke to all of them [Curry, Navidi and Simmonds] final night time and stated they’d a licence to go and get their palms on the ball and categorical themselves,” Gatland continued.

After defeating Japan at Murrayfield, the Lions recorded a primary win on South African soil after they thumped the Sigma Lions 56-14 on Saturday.

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British and Irish Lions: Williams; Watson, Daly, Aki, Van der Merwe; Biggar, Davies; Vunipola, Cowan-Dickie, Fagerson, Henderson (capt), Beard, Navidi, Curry, Simmonds.

Replacements: Owens, Sutherland, Furlong, Beirne, Conan, Murray, Hogg, Harris.

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Gatland ‘does not need to present hand too early’ on Take a look at facet

Captain Henderson stated hypothesis concerning the workforce that will face the Springboks on 24 July “hadn’t actually come into a number of gamers’ ideas”.

“That for us is a good bit down the road and we’re concentrating on what we have proper in entrance of us,” he added.

Gatland stated he was “not making an attempt to assume an excessive amount of” about his Take a look at facet, however admitted “some good performances” in victories towards Japan and the Sigma Lions had already made his job “powerful”.

“I need this group of males to really feel that everybody has a possibility proper as much as the Take a look at matches,” the New Zealander defined.

“As we get a bit nearer we’ll begin to take a look at potential combos. There will certainly be some mixing and matching since you do not need to present your hand too early.”

Iain Henderson talks to a group of Lions players
Iain Henderson was additionally a part of the Lions squad that toured New Zealand in 2017

Biggar, Aki and ‘excellent’ Daly mix in midfield

Curry is but to play a component within the tour after coming into camp with a pectoral harm whereas Beard and Navidi joined the workforce the night time earlier than they left for South Africa following accidents to captain Alun Wyn Jones and flanker Justin Tipuric.

Eire scrum-half Conor Murray stepped in as tour skipper and is called among the many replacements for Wednesday’s recreation.

The Sharks fixture is the second of 5 warm-up video games in South Africa earlier than the three-Take a look at collection towards the Springboks begins on 24 July.

The Lions will face a depleted Sharks facet as a number of of their gamers – together with South Africa captain Siya Kolisi – are getting ready for the Springboks’ fixture towards Georgia on Friday.

Gatland has stated England’s Owen Farrell would begin at quantity 10 sooner or later through the warm-up video games however the England captain shouldn’t be included within the matchday 23.

As an alternative, Wales’ Dan Biggar begins at fly-half, with Eire’s Bundee Aki and England’s Elliot Daly – who Gatland stated was “excellent” off the bench on Saturday – at 12 and 13 respectively.

After sustaining such important accidents to Jones and Tipuric towards Japan, Gatland stated he was happy “to come back by way of the weekend’s recreation unscathed”.

“It is a fast turnaround from Saturday, however we’ll be able to go by Wednesday night time,” he added.

“We really feel like we’re slowly constructing, however, as ever, there’s nonetheless room for enchancment in all sides of our recreation.”

The pinnacle coach added that Henderson would deliver a “calm method” to the captaincy, explaining he was “an apparent alternative” given his “expertise and stature within the recreation”.

Cell C Sharks: Libbok; Kok, Ward, Louw, Abrahams; Bosch, Hendrikse; Mona, Mbatha, Mchunu, Van Heerden, Andrews, Venter, Bholi, Buthelezi (capt).

Replacements: Van Vuuren, Mchunu, Herbst, Van der Mescht, Hugo, Richardson, Williams,Volmink.

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