Late changes for Lions as Itoje and Russell withdrawn from Sharks clash

Adam Beard comes into the side and Bundee Aki on to the bench

Maro Itoje will miss the Lions game against the Sharks with a gastric bug. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Maro Itoje will miss the Lions game against the Sharks with a gastric bug. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

 

The British and Irish Lions have been forced to make two late changes for their clash with the Sharks in Pretoria after Maro Itoje and Finn Russell were ruled out.

Itoje has a mild gastric bug and is replaced in the secondrow by England team-mate Courtney Lawes, whose place on the bench is taken by Adam Beard.

Russell has withdrawn from the replacements because of an Achilles injury he has been managing, so Bundee Aki comes in to offer back cover.

The Lions are playing the Sharks for the second time in four days after original opponents the Bulls pulled out because of an outbreak of coronavirus in their camp.

Warren Gatland’s men won the first meeting on Wednesday night 54-7 to continue their winning progress through the tour.

The game kicks off at 5pm.

SHARKS: Anthony Volmink; Marnus Potgieter, Werner Kok, Marray Koster, Thaakir Abrahams; Lionel Cronje, Jaden Hendrikse; Ntuthuko Mchunu, Kerron van Vuuren, Wiehahn Herbst; Le Roux Roets, Reniel Hugo; Dylan Richardson, Mpilo Gumede, Phepsi Buthelezi (capt).

Replacements: Dan Jooste, MJ Majola, Khutha Mchunu, Thembelani Bholi, Jeandre Labuschagne, Cameron Wright, Boeta Chamberlain, Jeremy Ward, Lourens Adriaanse, Rynhardt Jonker, Curwin Bosch.

LIONS: Liam Williams; Anthony Watson, Elliot Daly, Chris Harris, Duhan van der Merwe; Dan Biggar, Gareth Davies; Rory Sutherland, Jamie George (capt), Tadhg Furlong; Courtney Lawes, Jonny Hill; Tadhg Beirne, Hamish Watson, Jack Conan.

Replacements: Ken Owens, Wyn Jones, Kyle Sinckler, Adam Beard, Sam Simmonds, Tom Curry, Conor Murray, Bundee Aki.

Referee: Wayne Barnes (England).

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