Northampton Saints fly-half Dan Biggar will start for the British & Irish Lions this Saturday, as Warren Gatland’s side play Cell C Sharks at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria.
The game (kick-off 5pm BST) against the Durban-based Sharks replaces the originally-scheduled Tour match against the Bulls due to a Covid-19 outbreak in the Bulls’ squad.
This is the second time the Lions will have played the Sharks in the Castle Lager Lions Series, having already beaten them 7-54 on Wednesday night at Emirates Airline Park.
It will be Biggar’s first match of the Tour on South African soil, after turning in a man-of-the-match performance against Japan in the curtain raiser at BT Murrayfield, but then having to isolate during the first clash against the Sharks.
The 31-year-old Saints No.10 has made six appearances across two Tours so far for the Lions, and will be looking to stake his claim for a Test start on Saturday.
Meanwhile Courtney Lawes provides cover on the bench for the British tourists in the second row, having impressed in both of his Lions appearances in 2021 to date.
“It’s obviously been a slightly turbulent week, but we remain determined to keep rolling with the punches,” said Lions Head Coach Gatland.
“In many ways, the challenges we’ve faced this week have strengthened our resolve to do everything we can to overcome the challenges created by covid.
“Saturday is another opportunity to see how the boys go and for us as coaches to try out a few more combinations ahead of the Test series.
“We want to pass on thanks to the Sharks boys for fronting up and going again on Saturday. That’s the spirit of rugby, and a great chance for them to have another shot at us.”
CELL C SHARKS v THE BRITISH & IRISH LIONS
Saturday 10 July 2021
Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Kick-off: 5pm (BST)
15. Liam Williams (Scarlets, Wales) #833
14. Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, England) #816
13. Elliot Daly (Saracens, England) #822
12. Chris Harris (Gloucester Rugby, Scotland) #844
11. Duhan van der Merwe (Worcester Warriors, Scotland) #841
10. Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints, Wales) #821
9. Gareth Davies (Scarlets, Wales) #850
1. Rory Sutherland (Worcester Warriors, Scotland) #840
2. Jamie George – captain (Saracens, England) #819
3. Tadhg Furlong (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #818
4. Maro Itoje (Saracens, England) #825
5. Jonny Hill (Exeter Chiefs, England) #845
6. Tadhg Beirne (Munster Rugby, Ireland) #838
7. Hamish Watson (Edinburgh Rugby, Scotland) #847
8. Jack Conan (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #839
16. Ken Owens (Scarlets, Wales) #829
17. Wyn Jones (Scarlets, Wales) #842
18. Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, England) #814
19. Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, England) #826
20. Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs, England) #849
21. Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, England) #853
22. Conor Murray (Munster Rugby, Ireland) #790
23. Finn Russell (Racing 92, Scotland) #835