The British & Irish Lions touring squad for South Africa has been announced. SA Rugby Magazine reports.
Duhan van der Merwe has earned inclusion in the British & Irish Lions’ confirmed squad, but there’s no space for CJ Stander in the touring team that will be led by Alun Wyn Jones.
Earlier this year, South African-born Stander announced his impending retirement from all forms of rugby, but did leave the door open to be selected for the Lions tour to his home country.
However, his back-row spot in the squad has effectively gone the way of surprise selection Sam Simmonds. The Exeter Chiefs No 8 is the English Premiership’s leading try-scorer, but has been snubbed by England coach Eddie Jones for the past three years.
Yet, coach Warren Gatland has found space in the squad for Van der Merwe, who enjoyed a standout Six Nations season for Scotland, beating a tournament-record 31 defenders and finishing as the Championship’s top try-scorer with five in his debut campaign.
Several players are named in a Lions squad for the first time, including Louis Rees-Zammit, Duhan van der Merwe, Josh Adams, Chris Harris, Bundee Aki, Gareth Davies, Ali Price; Sam Simmonds, Jack Conan, Hamish Watson, Tom Curry, Jonny Hill, Tadhg Beirne, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Rory Sutherland, Andrew Porter, Wyn Jones, Zander Fagerson.
The B&I Lions’ full squad
Josh Adams (Cardiff, Wales) Wing
Bundee Aki (Connacht Rugby, Ireland) Centre
Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints, Wales) Flyhalf
Elliot Daly (Saracens, England) Centre
Gareth Davies (Scarlets, Wales) Scrumhalf
Owen Farrell (Saracens, England) Flyhalf
Chris Harris (Gloucester Rugby, Scotland) Centre
Robbie Henshaw (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) Centre
Stuart Hogg (Exeter Chiefs, Scotland) Fullback
Conor Murray (Munster Rugby, Ireland) Scrumhalf
Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland) Scrumhalf
Louis Rees-Zammit (Gloucester Rugby, Wales) Wing
Finn Russell (Racing 92, Scotland) Flyhalf
Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh Rugby, Scotland) Wing
Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, England) Wing
Liam Williams (Scarlets, Wales) Fullback
Tadhg Beirne (Munster Rugby, Ireland) Second row
Jack Conan (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) Back row
Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, England) Hooker
Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, England) Back row
Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland) Prop
Taulupe Faletau (Bath Rugby, Wales) Back row
Tadhg Furlong (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) Prop
Jamie George (Saracens, England) Hooker
Iain Henderson (Ulster Rugby, Ireland) Second row
Jonny Hill (Exeter Chiefs, England) Second row
Maro Itoje (Saracens, England) Second row
Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys, Wales) (Captain) Second row
Wyn Jones (Scarlets, Wales) Prop
Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, England) Second row
Ken Owens (Scarlets, Wales) Hooker
Andrew Porter (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) Prop
Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs, England) Back row
Rory Sutherland (Edinburgh Rugby, Scotland) Prop
Justin Tipuric (Ospreys, Wales) Back row
Mako Vunipola (Saracens, England) Prop
Hamish Watson (Edinburgh Rugby, Scotland) Back row