Borderers Stuart Hogg and Rory Sutherland dropped from British and Irish Lions match squad for decider against South Africa
Stuart Hogg and Rory Sutherland have both been dropped from the British and Irish Lions’ matchday squad for their test series decider against South Africa.
The two Borderers had played in both the multinational side’s test matches so far, a 27-9 defeat last weekend and 22-17 win seven days previously, but now look very unlikely to add to their tally of caps this tour as head coach Warren Gatland rings the changes ahead of the series decider to be played in Cape Town this Saturday, August 7.
Hogg’s omission is among six changes to last weekend’s starting XV.
The tour’s leading try-scorer, Josh Adams, makes his Lions test debut on the right wing, joining Duhan van der Merwe, retaining his place on the left.
Welshman Liam Williams, of Scarlets, comes in at full-back in place of Hogg to complete the back three.
Bundee Aki is included at inside centre for his first test cap, joining Robbie Henshaw, switching to 13.
Dan Biggar continues at fly-half, with Ali Price starting at scrum-half.
In the pack, there are two changes to the front-row, with loosehead prop Wyn Jones making his Lions test debut alongside Ken Owens, promoted from the bench to start his first test of the Tour as hooker. Tadhg Furlong continues at tighthead to win his sixth successive test cap.
Alun Wyn Jones is skipper again, winning his 12th consecutive cap, and he’s partnered in the second row by Maro Itoje once more.
The back row is unchanged, with Courtney Lawes at blindside flanker, Tom Curry on the openside and Jack Conan at No 8.
On the bench, Adam Beard, Finn Russell and Sam Simmonds feature for the first time in the test series. Kyle Sinckler is included subject to the outcome of a disciplinary hearing.
“The matchday 23 have an incredibly special opportunity in front of them – to seal a Lions series victory in South Africa,” said Gatland, 57.
“It doesn’t get much bigger than this, and we’re excited by the challenge that faces us on Saturday.
“We’ve no excuses from last week. The Springboks put us under pressure in the second half and deserved the win.
“We have to be much better than that second-half performance, and I believe we will be.”
Saturday’s match against the world champions kicks off at 5pm.
Also among the replacements are Luke Cowan-Dickie, Mako Vunipola, Conor Murray and Elliot Daly.