Lions make six changes for decisive third Test against Springboks

Cape Town (AFP) –


The British and Irish Lions announced six changes on Tuesday to their starting team for the decisive third Test against South Africa at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday, bringing in Welshmen Liam Williams and Josh Adams.

Williams and Adams will play at full-back and right wing respectively, with Stuart Hogg and Anthony Watson dropped from the match 23 as head coach Warren Gatland makes four changes in the backs and two in the forwards after a 27-9 hammering by the Springboks at the same venue last Saturday.

Bundee Aki will team up with fellow Irishman Robbie Henshaw at centre, with Chris Harris, who started last Saturday, left out of the squad.

Scotland scrum-half Ali Price, who started in the first Test and was a replacement last Saturday, will change roles again with Ireland's Conor Murray, who drops to the bench from a starting role.

Both forward changes are in the front row, with Welshmen Wyn Jones and Ken Owens coming in at loosehead prop and hooker respectively.

Three players who have not yet appeared in the series, forwards Adam Beard and Sam Simmonds and fly-half Finn Russell are among the replacements.

Prop Kyle Sinckler was named as a replacement subject to the outcome of a disciplinary hearing.

"The matchday 23 have an incredibly special opportunity in front of them -- to seal a Lions series victory in South Africa," said Gatland.

"It does not get much bigger than this and we're excited by the challenge that faces us on Saturday.

"We've no excuses from last week, the Springboks put us under pressure in the second half and deserved the win. We have to be much better than that second half performance, and I believe we will be."

Team (15-1)

British and Irish Lions: Liam Williams; Josh Adams, Robbie Henshaw, Bundee Aki, Duhan van der Merwe; Dan Biggar, Ali Price; Jack Conan, Tom Curry, Courtney Lawes; Alun Wyn Jones (capt), Maro Itoje; Tadhg Furlong, Ken Owens, Wyn Jones

Replacements: Luke Cowan-Dickie, Mako Vunipola, Kyle Sinckler (subject to outcome of disciplinary hearing), Adam Beard, Sam Simmonds, Conor Murray, Finn Russell, Elliot Daly

Coach: Warren Gatland (NZL)