Hawick’s Stuart Hogg and Rory Sutherland keep places in matchday squad for British and Irish Lions’ second test against South Africa
Borderers Stuart Hogg and Rory Sutherland have retained their places in the British and Irish Lions’ matchday squad for their second test against South Africa this weekend.
Hogg, 29, keeps his place as full-back in the tourists’ starting XV, but fellow ex-Hawick player Sutherland, 28, drops to the substitutes’ bench.
Sutherland, also once with Gala, was originally named among the replacements for last week’s first test, a 22-17 victory for the multinational side, but was given an 11th-hour promotion to the starting line-up after Wyn Jones was ruled out by a shoulder injury.
The ex-Greens are among five Scots in the squad for the follow-up test, taking place in Cape Town at 5pm on Saturday, July 31.
Worcester Warrior Sutherland’s return to the subs’ bench is one of three changes made by head coach Warren Gatland.
He’s replaced by Mako Vunipola, and Conor Murray and Chris Harris also come in.
Alun Wyn Jones is captain again, winning his 11th successive Lions test cap, and the Welshman will be partnered once more by Maro Itoje.
Vunipola packs down with hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie and Tadhg Furlong to complete the front row.
Courtney Lawes wins his fourth Lions test cap on the blind side flank, joining Tom Curry on the open side and Jack Conan at No 8.
Dan Biggar will play fly-half subject to completing a return-to-play protocol and assessment by an independent concussion consultant. If given the thumbs-up, he will partner scrum-half Murray.
Harris joins Robbie Henshaw in midfield to win his first test cap.
The back three of Anthony Watson, Duhan van der Merwe and Scotland captain Hogg is unchanged.
Taulupe Faletau has been added to the bench.
“As always, selection was incredibly tough,” said New Zealander Gatland, 57. “However, we’ve made the changes we think are the right calls for the weekend’s game.
“It’ll be another tight contest. We know the Springboks will be hurting and they’ll throw everything at us on Saturday, but I think there’s plenty more to come from us too.
“We feel we can go up another level from where we were in the first test and I would expect us to improve.
“It’s the biggest game on the tour and we have to embrace the expectation that comes with it.
“As players and coaches, these are the games you want to be involved in.
“We’re relishing the opportunity to face the Springboks again on Saturday and potentially seal a series win.”
Also among the replacements are Ken Owens, Kyle Sinckler, Tadhg Beirne, Ali Price, Owen Farrell and Elliot Daly.