British and Irish Lions keep some of their heavier hitters in reserve for match against Sharks at Ellis Park

Liam Del Carme Sports reporter
Dan Biggar of The British and Irish Lions trains during the British and Irish Lion's Training Session at Emirates Airline Park on July 06, 2021 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Dan Biggar of The British and Irish Lions trains during the British and Irish Lion's Training Session at Emirates Airline Park on July 06, 2021 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: David Rogers/Getty Images

The British & Irish Lions will feature three debutants but have kept some of their heavier hitters in reserve for Wednesday's tour match against the Sharks at Ellis Park.

Irishman Iain Henderson will captain the team from the second row‚ while tour captain Conor Murray was named among the reserves along with likely Test starters Tadhg Furlong and fullback Stuart Hogg.

Murray and Furlong are likely starters against the Bulls which is considered their toughest match against South Africa's former Super Rugby entities.

Wales' Josh Navidi and Adam Beard as well as England's Tom Curry make their Lions debuts. Navidi and Curry will form a loose trio with Sam Simmonds coach Warren Gatland called “exciting” following his team's opening match win over the Ellis Park based Lions last Saturday.

The Wales combo Gareth Davies and Dan Biggar are the half-backs‚ countryman Liam Williams is at full-back‚ while Anthony Watson and Duhan van der Merwe are on the wings.

Elliot Daly and Bundee Aki form the midfield pairing.

The Sharks named their team with Curwin Bosch the only Springbok in their mix‚ while Blitzbok Werner Kok features on the wing.

“We have only played two games in the Currie Cup‚ but our group has been together for some time and they’re looking forward to the challenge‚” said Sharks coach Sean Everitt.

“The chief goal is that we go into this game well prepared and for the players to understand what’s coming their way. Not many of our players in the (Currie Cup) squad have international experience and that includes Super Rugby‚ so yes‚ this is a big challenge.

“We have to get the fundamentals right otherwise we will be punished on the day.”

Sharks - Manie Libbok; Werner Kok‚ Jeremy Ward‚ Marius Louw‚ Thaakir Abrahams; Curwin Bosch‚ Jaden Hendrikse; Phepsi Buthelezi (captain)‚ Thembelani Bholi‚ James Venter; Hyron Andrews‚ Ruben van Heerden; Khutha Mchunu‚ Fez Mbatha‚ Khwezi Mona.

Substitutes: Kerron van Vuuren‚ Ntuthuko Mchunu‚ Wiehahn Herbst‚ JJ van der Mescht‚ Reniel Hugo; Dylan Richardson‚ Grant Williams‚ Anthony Volmink.

B & I Lions - Liam Williams; Anthony Watson‚ Elliot Daly‚ Bundee Aki‚ Duhan van der Merwe; Dan Biggar‚ Gareth Davies; Sam Simmonds. Tom Curry‚ Josh Navidi; Adam Beard‚ Iain Henderson (captain); Zander Fagerson‚ Luke Cowan-Dickie‚ Mako Vunipola‚

Substitutes: Ken Owens‚ Rory Sutherland‚ Tadhg Furlong‚ Tadhg Beirne‚ Jack Conan; Conor Murray‚ Stuart Hogg‚ Chris Harris.

Kick-off: 7.00pm