16,500 fans at Murrayfield
Four Scots named in Lions team to tackle Japan
Ready to roar: Edinburgh’s Hamish Watson (left), Duhan van der Merwe and Rory Sutherland (pic: SNS Group).
Warren Gatland has named four Scotland internationals in his British and Irish Lions team to face Japan at Murrayfield on Saturday.
Edinburgh trio Duhan van der Merwe, Rory Sutherland and Hamish Watson have all been given the nod along with Glasgow Warriors’ prop Zander Fagerson. Glasgow scrum-half Ali Price is on the bench.
The match in Edinburgh, which will be played in front of 16,500 fans, will be Sutherland’s first outing since dislocating his shoulder against France in Paris in March in the Six Nations.
It is the first meeting between Japan and the Lions, who fly out on Sunday for an eight-game tour of South Africa including three Tests against the Springboks.
The Lions head to the capital after a training camp in Jersey and Gatland said: “You can see that the squad are starting to get to grips with our game strategies, but, as always with a Lions tour, this takes time to bed in.
“We’re in a good place though and I can tell there’s a lot more to come from this group. Everyone in the squad will get a start before the start of the Test series, so each member of the squad can put their hand up for Test selection.
“We are absolutely delighted to be playing in front of sixteen thousand supporters in Edinburgh. I’m sure the crowd will give the players an enormous lift before we depart for South Africa on Sunday.”
Gatland has included a total of eight Scotland internationals in his squad.
Chris Harris (hand) is currently injured, Stuart Hogg’s Exeter faces Harlequins this weekend in the English Premiership final and Racing 92’s Finn Russell has only just linked up with the squad.
The Lions kick off their tour on Saturday 3 July in Johannesburg, with the first Test in Cape Town three weeks later.
Kick-off on Saturday is 3pm.
British and Irish Lions: Williams; Adams, Henshaw, Aki, Van der Merwe; Biggar, Murray; Sutherland, Owens, Fagerson, Henderson, AW Jones (c), Beirne, H Watson, Conan. Replacements: George, W Jones, Furlong, Lawes, Faletau, Price, Farrell, A Watson.