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Lions player Tadhg Beirne races clear to score (Getty Images)

Lions player Tadhg Beirne races clear to score (Getty Images)

The British and Irish Lions begin their tour of South Africa today against the Sigma Lions at Ellis Park in Johannesburg.

Their warm-up match against Japan at Murrayfield took a toll, with injuries including captain Alun Wyn Jones who dislocated his shoulder and was ruled out of the series.

Ireland’s Conor Murray was handed the captaincy in his place, while today’s leading Lion is Stuart Hogg.

“It’s good to have arrived in Johannesburg and get the tour under way… I’ve been encouraged by the way the boys have trained this week,” Gatland said.

“I feel it’s gone up a level… and we’re starting to see a better understanding of some of our tactics. There’s some new player combinations for us to have a look at this Saturday – which is good information for us as the Test series approaches.”

When is the match?

Lions vs Lions starts at 5pm BST.

How can I watch it?

The match will be broadcast live on Sky Sports Main Event in the UK and subscribers can stream the game online via the Sky Sports website and Sky Go app.

Team news

Five Scottish players start the match, with an England-dominated pack, while Ireland’s only representatives are on the bench.

Finn Russell plays at fly-half with fellow competitor for the 10 jersey, Owen Farrell, at centre.

Welsh wing Josh Adams is the only player retained in the starting XV from the side who beat Japan as Warren Gatland rings the changes.


British and Irish Lions: 15-Stuart Hogg (capt), 14-Louis Rees-Zammit, 13- Chris Harris, 12-Owen Farrell, 11-Josh Adams, 10-Finn Russell, 9-Ali Price, 8-Taulupe Faletau, 7- Hamish Watson, 6- Courtney Lawes, 5-Jonny Hill, 4-Maro Itoje, 3-Kyle Sinckler, 2-Jamie George, 1-Wyn Jones.

Reserves: 16-Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17-Mako Vunipola, 18-Zander Fagerson, 19 Iain Henderson, 20-Sam Simmonds, 21-Gareth Davies, 22-Bundee Aki, 23-Elliot Daly.

Who are the Sigma Lions?

They are a South African side based in Johannesburg who are not expected to be stiff opposition, having finished bottom of the South African conferee in the Rainbow Cup. They finished ninth in their last full Super Rugby season before the pandemic.

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