Scarlets trio named in side for Lions series finale

Rob Lloyd News

Liam Williams, Wyn Jones and Ken Owens have been named in the British & Irish Lions side to take on the Springboks in Saturday’s series finale against the Springboks in Cape Town.

Williams replaces Scotland’s Stuart Hogg at full-back, Jones comes in for Mako Vunipola at loose-head prop, while Owens gets the nod at hooker in place of Luke Cowan Dickie.

The tour’s leading try-scorer, Josh Adams (Cardiff Rugby, Wales), makes his Lions Test debut on the right wing joining Duhan van der Merwe (Worcester Warriors, Scotland) who keeps his place on the left. Williams (Scarlets, Wales) completes the back three. 

Bundee Aki (Connacht Rugby, Ireland) is included at inside centre to win his first Test cap, joining Robbie Henshaw (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) who switches to 13.  Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints, Wales) is retained at fly-half with Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland) starting at scrum half having been named as a replacement last weekend. 

In the pack, there are two changes to the front-row with injury-free Wyn Jones (Scarlets, Wales) taking his place on the loosehead to make his Lions Test debut alongside club-mate Ken Owens (Scarlets, Wales), who is promoted from the bench to start his first Test of the Tour at hooker. Tadhg Furlong (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) continues on the tighthead to win his sixth-successive Test cap.  

Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys, Wales) is named as captain to win his 12th consecutive cap moving him alongside Graham Price (1977 – 1983) and Mike Gibson (1966 – 1974) in the list of most Lions Test appearances. The iconic Welshman is again partnered in the second row by Maro Itoje (Saracens, England). 

The back row remains the same with Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, England) at blind side flanker, Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, England) on the open side and Jack Conan (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) at No. 8. 

On the bench, Adam Beard (Ospreys, Wales), Finn Russell (Racing 92, Scotland), and Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs, England) feature for the first time in the Test Series and will all win their first Lions cap should they take the field. Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, England) is included 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 head coach Warren Gatland.  

“It doesn’t 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.”

Saturday’s clash against the reigning World Champions is the final Test match in the 2021 Castle Lager Lions Series and will be shown live and exclusively on Sky Sports. 


15. Liam Williams (Scarlets, Wales); 14. Josh Adams (Cardiff Rugby, Wales),         13. Robbie Henshaw (Leinster Rugby, Ireland),  12. Bundee Aki (Connacht Rugby, Ireland), 11. Duhan van der Merwe (Worcester Warriors, Scotland); 10. Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints, Wales),  9. Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland);  1. Wyn Jones (Scarlets, Wales), 2. Ken Owens (Scarlets, Wales), 3. Tadhg Furlong (Leinster Rugby, Ireland), 4. Maro Itoje (Saracens, England),5. Alun Wyn Jones – captain (Ospreys, Wales), 6. Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, England),   7. Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, England), 8. Jack Conan (Leinster Rugby, Ireland).

Replacements:16. Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, England),  17. Mako Vunipola (Saracens, England), 18. *Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, England) – subject to outcome of disciplinary hearing; 19. Adam Beard (Ospreys, Wales), 20. Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs, England), 21. Conor Murray (Munster Rugby, Ireland),  22. Finn Russell (Racing 92, Scotland), 23. Elliot Daly (Saracens, England).