Jamie George to captain British & Irish Lions against Sharks on Saturday
Saracens is immensely proud to announce that Jamie George will captain the British and Irish Lions against Cell C Sharks on Saturday at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria.
George is named captain of a starting XV which has 13 changes to the team that played the same opposition earlier this week, with only Elliot Daly and Duhan van der Merwe retained.
Elsewhere, fellow Saracen Maro Itoje starts whilst Owen Farrell and Mako Vunipola are rested after playing a key part on Wednesday.
The game against the Durban-based Sharks replaces the scheduled Tour match against the Bulls and is the third in an eight-game Series culminating in the three Tests against World Champions, the Springboks.
This is the second time the Lions will have played the Sharks in the Castle Lager Lions Series, having already beaten them 7-54 on Wednesday night at Emirates Airline Park.
Earlier today the Tour PCR screening programme returned a negative set of results.
On Wednesday 7 July, one member of staff tested positive for COVID-19. As a result, the individual and four close contacts (one player and three members of staff) are being isolated at the team hotel.
“It’s obviously been a slightly turbulent week, but we remain determined to keep rolling with the punches,” said Gatland.
“In many ways, the challenges we’ve faced this week have strengthened our resolve to do everything we can to overcome the challenges created by covid.
“The feeling in the camp on Wednesday night was just to give it a crack – I was really proud by how everyone reacted, particularly the match day squad who would have never prepared for a game like that before.
“Saturday is another opportunity to see how the boys go and for us as coaches to try out a few more combinations ahead of the Test series.
“I have long been an admirer of Jamie’s leadership skills, so I am delighted to name him skipper.
“We want to pass on thanks to the Sharks boys for fronting up and going again on Saturday. That’s the spirit of rugby, and a great chance for them to have another shot at us.”
CELL C SHARKS v THE BRITISH & IRISH LIONS
Saturday 10 July 2021
Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Kick-off: 5pm (BST)
15 Liam Williams
14 Anthony Watson
13 Elliot Daly
12 Chris Harris
11 Duhan van der Merwe
10 Dan Biggar
9 Gareth Davies
1 Rory Sutherland
2 Jamie George (C)
3 Tadhg Furlong
4 Maro Itoje
5 Jonny Hill
6 Tadhg Beirne
7 Hamish Watson
8 Jack Conan
16 Ken Owens
17 Wyn Jones
18 Kyle Sinckler
19 Courtney Lawes
20 Sam Simmonds
21 Tom Curry
22 Conor Murray
23 Finn Russell