Tim Payne has just been called into the Lions squad and gets a start along with John Hayes in the front row against the Emerging Springboks on Tuesday 23 June, at Newlands, Cape Town with kick-off at 18.10 UK time, 19:10 local.
Hayes, 35, was called up to the touring party after an ankle injury for Euan Murray, while Payne, 30, is covering for Andrew Sheridan (sore back). Good news for the Lions is that James Hook is on the bench after being passed fit following a blow to the head against the Southern Kings.
Fly-half Ronan O’Gara becomes the fifth player to be made captain on the tour. The side for the Lions’ final midweek game of this trip shows six changes from the line-up that beat the Southern Kings 20-8 on 16 June. In addition to the inclusion of Hayes and Payne in the forwards, Martyn Williams starts at open-side flanker as Nathan Hines moves back to his usual position of second row. In the backs, winger Shane Williams starts, with O’Gara paired with England’s Harry Ellis in the half-back partnership.
Eight of the Emerging Springboks starting side have already faced the Lions for their provincial sides. Steven Sykes, Jean Deysel, Luzuko Vulindlu were part of the Sharks side beaten 39-3 by the tourists, while centre Morgan Newman and Duane Vermeulen appeared in Western Province’s 26-23 loss. Winger Bjorn Basson (Royal XV), scrum-half Jano Vermaak (Golden Lions) and prop Wian du Preez (Free State Cheetahs) have also lost to the Lions. Zane Kirchner, will start at full-back while Earl Rose, who played number 15 in the Springboks warm-up match against Namibia, reverts to fly-half.
Backs: K Earls (Munster and Ireland); S Williams (Ospreys/Wales), R Flutey (Wasps/England), G D’Arcy (Leinster/Ireland), L Fitzgerald (Leinster/ Ireland); R O’Gara (Munster/Ireland, capt), H Ellis (Leicester/England)
Forwards: T Payne (Wasps/England), R Ford (Edinburgh/Scotland), J Hayes (Munster/Ireland), D O’Callaghan (Munster/ Ireland), N Hines (Perpignan/Scotland), J Worsley (Wasps/England), M Williams (Cardiff Blues/Wales), A Powell (Cardiff Blues/Wales).
Replacements: L Mears (Bath/England), P Vickery (Wasps/England), S Shaw (Wasps/England), D Wallace (Munster/Ireland), M Blair (Edinburgh/Scotland), J Hook (Ospreys/Wales), U Monye (Harlequins/England).
Backs: Z Kirchner (Bulls), L Vulindlu (Sharks), D Van Rensburg (Leopards), M Newman (Western Province), B Basson (Griquas), E Rose (Gauteng), J Vermaak (Gauteng),
Forwards: W Kruger (Bulls), B Maku (Bulls), W Du Preez (Cheetahs), W Steenkamp (Bulls), 4-Steven Sykes (Sharks), J Deysel (Sharks), D Potgieter (Bulls), D Vermuelen (Western Province)
Replacements: T Liebenberg (Western Province), P Cilliers (Sharks), F Van Der Merwe (Gauteng), J Botes (Sharks), H Adams (Bulls), W de Waal (Western Province), D Demas (Cheetahs)