Murray and Beirne among nine players isolating after Covid hits Lions camp
Just the seven forwards named to the bench...
Whoever has the behind-the-scenes documentary rights to the the 2021 British & Irish Lions Tour to South Africa could have an Oscar winner on their hands.
It is chaos on the Lions Tour right now, as one player and a member of the management team have tested positive for Covid-19. The player has yet to be named but eight of his teammates are now isolating after being identified as close contacts. A Lions statement reads:
'We can confirm that a player and a member of the Lions management team has tested positive for Covid-19 following PCR testing as part of the Tour screening programme which took place on Wednesday, July 7.
'The two individuals had a total of 12 close contacts – eight players and four staff members – all of who have been placed into isolation at the team hotel.
'All other members of the touring party returned negative results following PCR testing earlier today. After consultation with the Medical Advisory Group (MAG), this evening’s game against the Cell C Sharks at Emirates Airline Park will still take place at the revised time of 8pm [7pm GMT].'
In terms of this evenings clash with the Sharks, there are four changes to the starting XV and another four on the bench.
The Lions, basically, have had to dig deep just to put together a matchday squad. Liam Williams, Anthony Watson, Dan Biggar and Gareth Davies are all out of the Starting XV.
Conor Murray, Tadhg Beirne, Chris Harris and Stuart Hogg are all in isolation, too, back at the team hotel and gone from the bench. Taking their place are forwards Hamish Watson, Toby Faletau, Maro Itoje and the only back among the replacements - Finn Russell.
REVISED LIONS XV (vs. Sharks)
15. Josh Adams
14. Louis Rees-Zammit
13. Elliot Daly
12. Bundee Aki
11. Duhan van der Merwe
10. Owen Farrell
9. Ali Price
1. Mako Vunipola
2. Luke Cowan-Dickie
3. Zander Fagerson
4. Iain Henderson (CAPTAIN)
5. Adam Beard
6. Tom Curry
7. Josh Navidi
8. Sam Simmonds
REPLACEMENTS: Ken Owens, Rory Sutherland, Tadhg Furlong, Maro Itoje, Jack Conan, Finn Russell, Hamish Watson, Toby Faletau.
WATCH HOUSE OF RUGBY'S LIONS SERIES: EPISODE 3