Still no Robbie Henshaw for the Lions as team named to face South Africa ‘A’

Conor Murray will lead the British & Irish Lions for the first time as a starter, but there remains no signs of the injured Robbie Henshaw for the match against South Africa ‘A’.

Murray was made tour captain after Alun Wyn Jones dislocated his shoulder against Japan last month, but he has only captained the team as a replacement with Iain Henderson and Jamie George acting in his stead so far on the tour.

The Ireland scrum-half is one of 12 changes named by head coach Warren Gatland after the 71-31 win over the Sharks on Saturday, but Henshaw is still dealing with a ‘mild’ hamstring injury.

Only Chris Harris, Dan Biggar and Anthony Watson are retained, as a whole new pack is selected.

Maro Itoje is available to start alongside Iain Henderson in the second row after recovering from a stomach bug.

A tryscorer on Saturday, Tom Curry comes into the back row where he is joined by the Welsh duo of Josh Navidi and Taulupe Faletau.

Options at full-back for the Tests have taken another turn as Anthony Watson reverts to the No.15 shirt – Stuart Hogg and Liam Williams had appeared to be in a two-way shootout as the only players to be selected at the position by Gatland until now.

“We’re pleased to have arrived in Cape Town as we near the halfway stage of the Series,” Gatland said on Monday.

“Wednesday’s game against South Africa ‘A’ will be our toughest encounter since we arrived here and we are looking forward to it. We expect them to be physical in the contact area and look to test us at scrum time.

“I think we’ve benefitted from playing at altitude in the first three games. While the boys have felt it in their lungs, they will be all the better for it now we are at sea level.

“As we move towards the business end of the Tour, it’s pleasing to see so many players putting in some stand-out performances. As coaches we want the players to make Test selection as hard as possible and that’s we are seeing.”

British & Irish Lions: 15 Anthony Watson, 14 Louis Rees-Zammit, 13 Chris Harris, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Josh Adams, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Conor Murray (c); 1 Wyn Jones, 2 Ken Owens, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 4 Maro Itoje, 5 Iain Henderson, 6 Josh Navidi, 7 Tom Curry, 8 Taulupe Faletau

Replacements: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Mako Vunipola, 18 Zander Fagerson, 19 Adam Beard, 20 Tadhg Beirne, 21 Sam Simmonds, 22 Gareth Davies, 23 Elliot Daly

South Africa ‘A’: 15 Willie Le Roux, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Lukhanyo Am (c), 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Sbu Nkosi, 10 Morne Steyn, 9 Faf de Klerk; 1 Steven Kitshoff, 2 Joseph Dweba, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 5 Franco Mostert, 6 Marco van Staden, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 8 Jasper Wiese

Replacements (to be reduced to eight): 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Coenie Oosthuizen, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg, 20 Rynhardt Elstadt, 21 Herschel Jantjies, 22 Jesse Kriel, 23 Damian Willemse, 24 Kwagga Smith, 25 Elton Jantjies

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