Warren Gatland has named his first British & Irish Lions team for the 2021 tour with Alun Wyn Jones captaining the side against Japan on Saturday.

Gatland’s team is without those in Saturday’s Gallagher Premiership final and features players from Wales, Scotland and Ireland. This weekend’s match is at Murrayfield and is the first match in their schedule ahead of a three-Test series against South Africa.

“We’re anticipating a tough game against Japan — a side that like to play at a high-tempo and shift the ball,” Gatland said.

“We saw throughout the World Cup they have attacking threats across the park and a solid defence and set piece.

“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. 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. 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.”

The match takes place in front of 16,000 supporters and the team sees a mix of experienced Lions and those embarking on their first trip with the famous tourists.

British & Irish Lions team for Japan:

Starting XV:

Liam Williams, Josh Adams, Robbie Henshaw, Duhan van der Merwe, Dan Biggar, Conor Murray; Rory Sutherland, Ken Owens, Zander Fagerson, Iain Henderson, Alun Wyn Jones (captain), Tadhg Beirne, Hamish Watson, Jack Conan.


Jamie George, Wyn Jones, Tadhg Furlong, Courtney Lawes, Taulupe Faletau, Ali Price, Owen Farrell, Anthony Watson.