Ken and Wyn to start against South Africa A

Rob LloydFeatured

Scarlets front-rowers Ken Owens and Wyn Jones both start as The British & Irish Lions take on South Africa ‘A’ at Cape Town Stadium on Wednesday 14 July (kick off 7pm BST). 

The pair are joined in the match-day 23 by Scarlets team-mate Gareth Davies, who is named among the replacements.

Tour captain Conor Murray (Munster, Ireland) is named skipper of a starting XV which has 12 changes to the team that defeated Cell C Sharks 31-71 at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday evening, with Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, England), Chris Harris (Gloucester Rugby, Scotland) and Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints, Wales) the only players retained. 

Watson shifts from right wing to full-back with Harris moving to 13 where he is joined in midfield by Bundee Aki (Connacht Rugby, Ireland). Biggar will again start at fly-half. 

The game against South Africa ‘A’ will be shown live and exclusively on Sky Sports and is the fourth match in an eight-game Series culminating in the three Tests against World Champions, the Springboks. 

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

“Wednesday’s game against South Africa ‘A’ will be our toughest encounter since we arrived here and we’re 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’ll be all the better for it now we’re 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 what we’re seeing.” 


15. Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, England); 14. Louis Rees-Zammit (Gloucester Rugby, Wales),  13. Chris Harris (Gloucester Rugby, Scotland),  12. Bundee Aki (Connacht Rugby, Ireland),  11. Josh Adams (Cardiff Rugby, Wales), 10. Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints, Wales), 9. Conor Murray – captain (Munster Rugby, Ireland);  1. Wyn Jones (Scarlets, Wales),  2. Ken Owens (Scarlets, Wales),  3. Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, England),  4. Maro Itoje (Saracens, England),  5. Iain Henderson (Ulster Rugby, Ireland),  6. Josh Navidi (Cardiff Rugby, Wales), 7. Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, England),  8. Taulupe Faletau (Bath Rugby, Wales).
Replacements: 16. Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, England),  17. Mako Vunipola (Saracens, England),  18. Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland),  19. Adam Beard (Ospreys, Wales),  20. Tadhg Beirne (Munster Rugby, Ireland), 21. Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs, England),  22. Gareth Davies (Scarlets, Wales),  23. Elliot Daly (Saracens, England).