Wales star Dan Biggar gets the start at fly-half alongside Ireland No.9 Conor Murray (Image: Getty Images)
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Warren Gatland has named a starting line-up free of Englishmen to kick off the 2021 British and Irish Lions tour.
Six Irishmen, five Welshmen and four Scots will take on Japan at Murrayfield on Saturday under the captaincy of Alun Wyn Jones.
Owen Farrell and Jamie George, who only joined up with the squad yesterday after securing promotion back to the Premiership for Saracens on Sunday, are selected amongst the replacements.
Of the 10 other England players picked to tour, only Anthony Watson and Courtney Lawes feature, joining Farrell and George on the bench.
Gatland vowed: "Everyone in the squad will get a start before the start of the Test series, so each member of the squad can put their hand up for Test selection.”
Japan reached the World Cup quarter-finals on home soil, beating Ireland and Scotland along the way, so the Lions know better than to take them lightly.
Lions captain Alun Wyn Jones
“We’re anticipating a tough game against Japan – a side that like to play at a high-tempo and shift the ball," said Gatland.
"We saw throughout the World Cup they have attacking threats across the park and a solid defence and set piece.”
Gatland goes for experience at half-back with Dan Biggar and Conor Murray given starts.
Japan celebrate beating Scotland at 2019 World Cup
(Image: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
"I’m pleased with the progress we’ve made during our training camp in Jersey so far, but we’ve a long way to go,” said the New Zealander.
“You can see that the squad are starting to get to grips with our game strategies, but, as always with a Lions Tour, this takes time to bed in.
"We’re in a good place though and I can tell there’s a lot more to come from this group.”
Gatland added: ”We are absolutely delighted to be playing in front of sixteen thousand supporters in Edinburgh. I’m sure the crowd will give the players an enormous lift before we depart for South Africa on Sunday."
BRITISH AND IRISH LIONS
15. Liam Williams (Scarlets, Wales) #833
14. Josh Adams (Cardiff Rugby, Wales)
13. Robbie Henshaw (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #824
12. Bundee Aki (Connacht Rugby, Ireland)
11. Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh Rugby, Scotland)
10. Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints, Wales) #821
9. Conor Murray (Munster Rugby, Ireland) #790
1. Rory Sutherland (Edinburgh Rugby, Scotland)
2. Ken Owens (Scarlets, Wales) #829
3. Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland)
4. Iain Henderson (Ulster Rugby, Ireland) #808
5. Alun Wyn Jones – Captain (Ospreys, Wales) #761
6.Tadhg Beirne (Munster Rugby, Ireland)
7. Hamish Watson (Edinburgh Rugby, Scotland)
8. Jack Conan (Leinster Rugby, Ireland)
16. Jamie George (Saracens, England) #819
17. Wyn Jones (Scarlets, Wales)
18. Tadhg Furlong (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #818
19. Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, England) #826
20. Taulupe Faletau (Bath Rugby, Wales) #779
21. Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland)
22. Owen Farrell (Saracens, England) #780
23. Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, England) #816