Warren Gatland makes three changes for the second British & Irish Lions Test against South Africa as he brings in Chris Harris, Conor Murray and Mako Vunipola in a bid to wrap up the Series after winning Cape Town’s opening game
- Warren Gatland has named his Lions XV for the second test in South Africa
- The tourists lead the series 1-0 after their comeback victory last Saturday
- Chris Harris and Conor Murray get in the back as Mako Vunipola kicks in
Chris Harris, Conor Murray and Mako Vunipola have been drafted into the Lions XV for the second Test against South Africa.
Warren Gatland has made three changes to his starting lineup that beat the Springboks last weekend, with Elliot Daly, Ali Price and Rory Sutherland sinking to the bench.
The tourists can seal the series in Cape Town on Saturday and Gatland has warned its players to prepare for a physical backlash.
Mako Vunipola and Chris Harris have been called up to start the Lions’ second test
Conor Murray replaces Ali Price at scrum half for second Test against South Africa
“As always, the selection was incredibly tough,” said Gatland. “However, we have made the changes that we believe are the right decisions for the weekend’s game.
“It will be another exciting game. We know the Springboks will hurt and they’ll throw everything at us on Saturday, but I think there’s a lot more to come from us. We feel we can reach a different level than we were in the first test and I expect we will improve.
“It is the biggest race of 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 are enjoying the chance to face the Springboks again on Saturday and possibly secure a Series win.”
Harris, who played for Northumbria University 3rd XV a few years ago, will play in midfield alongside Robbie Henshaw.
Murray will form a halfback combination with Dan Biggar, provided the No. 10 completes return-to-play protocols before the weekend.
Toby Faletau has been given a seat on the bench for Scottish Hamish Watson
The back three remain untouched, with Stuart Hogg at fullback, between wingers Anthony Watson and Duhan van der Merwe.
In the pack, Vunipola starts to get to the front row alongside Luke Cowan-Dickie and Tadhg Furlong.
Alun Wyn Jones will win his 11th consecutive Lions Test cap alongside Maro Itoje in the second row, with Courtney Lawes, Tom Curry and Jack Conan in the back row.
On the bench, Toby Faletau has replaced Hamish Watson, while Liam Williams has been left out of Day 23.