Warren Gatland drops Lions bombshell by axing Owen Farrell and Stuart Hogg from squad to face South Africa
WARREN GATLAND has dropped a Lions bombshell by axing England and Scotland captains Owen Farrell and Stuart Hogg from his squad.
In a shock move the Lions boss has also called on England exile Sam Simmonds and Scotland fly-half Finn Russell off the bench to help save the series.
Gats has wielded the axe by making SIX changes with top-scorer Josh Adams and Liam Williams into the back three.
The Lions coach has also served up a beefcake midfield by calling up Bundee Aki in an all-Ireland attack.
Gatland said: “The match day 23 have an incredibly special opportunity in front of them – to seal a Lions Series victory in South Africa.
“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.”
In the pack, there are two changes to the front-row.
Injury-free Wyn Jones takes his place on the loosehead to make his Lions Test debut.
And that is alongside Ken Owens, who is promoted from the bench to start his first Test of the tour at hooker.
Amongst the subs, Adam Beard, Simmonds and Russell feature for the first time in the Test Series.
Kyle Sinckler is included subject to the outcome of a disciplinary hearing for biting.
15. Liam Williams (Scarlets, Wales) #833
14. Josh Adams (Cardiff Rugby, Wales) #836
13. Robbie Henshaw (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #824
12. Bundee Aki (Connacht Rugby, Ireland) #837
11. Duhan van der Merwe (Worcester Warriors, Scotland) #841
10. Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints, Wales) #821
9. Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland) #843
1. Wyn Jones (Scarlets, Wales) #842
2. Ken Owens (Scarlets, Wales) #829
3. Tadhg Furlong (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #818
4. Maro Itoje (Saracens, England) #825
5. Alun Wyn Jones – captain (Ospreys, Wales) #761
6. Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, England)#826
7. Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, England) #853
8. Jack Conan (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #839
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16. Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, England) #851
17. Mako Vunipola (Saracens, England) #787
18. *Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, England) #814 – subject to outcome of disciplinary hearing.
19. Adam Beard (Ospreys, Wales) #852
20. Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs, England) #849
21. Conor Murray (Munster Rugby, Ireland) #790
22. Finn Russell (Racing 92, Scotland) #835
23. Elliot Daly (Saracens, England) #822
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