Conor Murray hugs Tom Curry in celebration
Scrum-half Conor Murray was a replacement in Saturday’s win against the Sharks
Venue: Cape Town Stadium Date: Wednesday, 14 July Kick-off: 19:00 BST
Coverage: Live text commentary on the BBC Sport website and app

Tour captain Conor Murray leads the British and Irish Lions for the first time when they face South Africa A in Cape Town on Wednesday.

Bundee Aki joins Biggar and Harris in midfield, while Maro Itoje returns to the pack after recovering from illness.

Wednesday’s game is on despite a Covid-19 outbreak in the Springbok camp.

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British and Irish Lions: Watson; Rees-Zammit, Harris, Aki, Adams; Biggar, Murray (capt); Jones, Owens, Sinckler, Itoje, Henderson, Navidi, Curry, Faletau.

Replacements: Cowan-Dickie, Vunipola, Fagerson, Beard, Beirne, Simmonds, Davies, Daly.

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South Africa announced that captain Siya Kolisi had tested positive for the virus on Sunday, taking the number of cases in the group to more than 20.

The Lions have travelled to Cape Town for Wednesday’s game having played their first three games at altitude in Johannesburg and Pretoria.

“Wednesday’s game against South Africa A will be our toughest encounter since we arrived here and we’re looking forward to it,” head coach Warren Gatland said.

“I think we’ve benefitted from playing at altitude in the first three games. While the boys have felt it in their lungs, they’ll be all the better for it now we’re at sea level.”

Competition for Test selection heats up

Josh Adams runs with the ball
Wing Josh Adams has scored eight tries for the British and Irish Lions

Opportunities are running out for players to prove they are worthy of a starting Test spot against the Springboks.

The South Africa A game is the Lions’ penultimate warm-up fixture before they face the world champions in the first of three Tests on 24 July.

Biggar once again starts and may find his chances of keeping the 10 jersey improved by the absence of Finn Russell, who will be unavailable until the start of the Springboks series because of an Achilles injury.

The back three is one of the most competitive areas and Gatland has moved Watson to full-back, with the prolific Josh Adams on one wing and Louis Rees-Zammit on the other as Duhan van der Merwe is left out of the matchday 23.

The Lions head coach also faces difficult decisions in the back row and this time opts for flankers Josh Navidi and Tom Curry, with Taulupe Faletau at number eight.

Forwards Tadhg Beirne and Sam Simmonds are poised to make their mark off the bench, as is Elliot Daly, who has impressed in the centre in the opening games.

“As we move towards the business end of the tour, it’s pleasing to see so many players putting in some standout performances,” Gatland said.

“As coaches we want the players to make Test selection as hard as possible and that’s what we’re seeing.”

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