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Tadhg Furlong promoted to Lions starting XV after injury to Fagerson

The Scotland prop has been ruled out of Saturday’s game due to a back spasm.

IRELAND AND LEINSTER tighthead prop Tadhg Furlong has been promoted into the Lions starting XV for Saturday’s clash with Japan in Edinburgh [KO 3pm, Channel 4].

Furlong had been due to be a replacement but will now start in the number three shirt after Scotland’s Zander Fagerson was ruled out due to a back spasm. 

Kyle Sinckler – who was a late call-up for the tour in place of the injured Andrew Porter – will be on the bench for this weekend’s game.

It means that all seven Irish players in the 37-man Lions squad will start the first game of the campaign against Japan at Murrayfield, with Conor Murray, Robbie Henshaw, Iain Henderson, Bundee Aki, Tadhg Beirne, and Jack Conan already named in the team.

The Lions had already been forced to make a change to their initial starting XV this week when Scotland’s Hamish Watson was ruled out due to concussion, with Justin Tipuric of Wales coming in at openside in his place.

Tighthead prop Fagerson was unable to train this morning and will now look to rehab his back issue before featuring early on the tour of South Africa.

“It’s a shame for Zander not to be able to run out at Murrayfield as a Lion but he’s not quite 100%,” said Lions head coach Warren Gatland.

“He’ll get a chance to start in the next two games and stake a claim for a Test spot in South Africa, so it’s not worth the risk.”

Lions (v Japan):

15. Liam Williams (Scarlets, Wales)
14. Josh Adams (Cardiff, Wales)
13. Robbie Henshaw (Leinster, Ireland)
12. Bundee Aki (Connacht, Ireland)
11. Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh, Scotland)
10. Dan Biggar (Northampton, Wales)
9. Conor Murray (Munster, Ireland)

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1. Rory Sutherland (Edinburgh, Scotland)
2. Ken Owens (Scarlets, Wales)
3. Tadhg Furlong (Leinster, Ireland)
4. Iain Henderson (Ulster, Ireland) 
5. Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys, Wales) (captain)
6. Tadhg Beirne (Munster, Ireland)
7. Justin Tipuric (Ospreys, Wales)
8. Jack Conan (Leinster, Ireland)

Replacements:

16. Jamie George (Saracens, England) 
17. Wyn Jones (Scarlets, Wales)
18. Kyle Sinckler (Bristol, England) 
19. Courtney Lawes (Northampton, England) 
20. Taulupe Faletau (Bath, Wales) 
21. Ali Price (Glasgow, Scotland)
22. Owen Farrell (Saracens, England) 
23. Anthony Watson (Bath, England). 

- Originally published at 10.15

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