Alun Wyn Jones’ exceptional return from damage is full after he was named captain of the British & Irish Lions aspect to face South Africa on the Cape City Stadium on Saturday.
Lock Jones had initially been dominated out of the tour after he dislocated his shoulder within the warm-up victory over Japan on June 26, however with the damage much less extreme than first feared he was capable of re-join the squad in Cape City final week and performed half-hour towards the Stormers on Saturday.
Ali Value has been named forward of Conor Murray within the scrumhalf berth, and together with wing Duhan van der Merwe and fullback Stuart Hogg makes it a trio of Scottish gamers in a Lions beginning XV for the primary time because the 1997 tour of South Africa, the place assistant coach Gregor Townsend performed.
Dan Biggar bought the nod at flyhalf forward of Owen Farrell, with Robbie Henshaw and Elliot Daly the centre pairing. Anthony Watson is the opposite wing.
Jones will accomplice Maro Itoje within the second row with props Wyn Jones and Tadhg Furlong, and hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie forward of them within the scrum.
Courtney Lawes and Tom Curry are the flankers, with Jack Conan a shock choose at No.8 over Taulupe Faletau, who just isn’t within the match-day 23.
It’s Welshman Jones’ tenth Lions cap, transferring him alongside Gareth Edwards within the all-time checklist, and behind different greats of the sport in Graham Value (12 caps), Mike Gibson (12) Dickie Jeeps (13) and Willie-John McBride (17).
“In my 4 Excursions as a Lions coach, this was by far the toughest Check choice I’ve been concerned in,” coach Warren Gatland mentioned.
“We could not have requested for extra from the gamers to date; they’ve all put their arms up and made choosing a beginning XV extremely troublesome.
“We all know what we’re arising towards on Saturday. It will be an arm wrestle, there is no doubt about it. We’ll must entrance up bodily and be able to go from the primary whistle.”
Workforce: Stuart Hogg, Anthony Watson, Elliot Daly, Robbie Henshaw, Duhan van der Merwe, Dan Biggar, Ali Value, Jack Conan, Tom Curry, Courtney Lawes, Alun Wyn Jones (capt), Maro Itoje, Tadhg Furlong, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Wyn Jones. Replacements: Ken Owens, Rory Sutherland, Kyle Sinckler, Tadhg Beirne, Hamish Watson, Conor Murray, Owen Farrell, Liam Williams.