Hogg to captain Lions against the Stormers

Stuart Hogg will make his return to action for the British & Irish Lions and captain the side in their clash with the DHL Stormers in Cape Town.

Stuart Hogg will make his return to action for the British & Irish Lions and captain the side in their clash with the DHL Stormers in Cape Town.

The Scotland skipper starts at full-back in the final match before the first Test in a side featuring 15 changes from the team that faced South Africa A. It will be his first appearance on the tour since the clash with the Sigma Lions, the first game on South African soil.

Hogg is joined in the back three by Duhan van der Merwe and Josh Adams, the latter having missed the 17-13 loss to South Africa A to witness the birth of his first child, a daughter called Lottie.

A fit-again Robbie Henshaw lines up in midfield alongside Elliot Daly, who came off the bench against South Africa A, while Marcus Smith makes his first appearance after being called up last week, combining with Ali Price in the half-backs.

Up front, Rory Sutherland joins Luke Cowan-Dickie and Tadhg Furlong in the front row, while Adam Beard and Jonny Hill form the second row.

Finally, Ireland pair Tadhg Beirne and Jack Conan will start alongside Hamish Watson in the back row.

On the bench, the big news comes with the inclusion of Alun Wyn Jones. The Wales skipper joined back up with the squad after recovering from the dislocated shoulder suffered against Japan last month and takes his place among the replacements.

The Lions will be looking to bounce back from their narrow defeat to South Africa A, with players hoping to stake a claim in the final match before the three-Test series.

Warren Gatland said: “It’s an important game as it’s the final chance for the coaching group to see the players perform prior to the start of the Test Series.

“For the matchday 23 it’s their last opportunity to stake a claim for a Test place, so I expect to see a highly motivated group of players.

“It is particularly pleasing to be able to name Stuart Hogg in the squad. He’s not had much luck on Lions Tours to date, so it’ll be great to see him cross the whitewash again with the captain’s armband.

“I’m also delighted that Marcus will get his first start in a Lions jersey. I’ve been really impressed with his attitude since coming into camp this week; he’s been like a sponge for information.”

Lions team to face the DHL Stormers:

15. Stuart Hogg – captain (Exeter Chiefs, Scotland) #783 14. Josh Adams (Cardiff Rugby, Wales) #836 13. Elliot Daly (Saracens, England) #822 12. Robbie Henshaw (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #824 11. Duhan van der Merwe (Worcester Warriors, Scotland) #841 10. Marcus Smith (Harlequins, England) 9. Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland) #843

1. Rory Sutherland (Worcester Warriors, Scotland) #840 2. Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, England) #851 3. Tadhg Furlong (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #818 4. Adam Beard (Ospreys, Wales) #852 5. Jonny Hill (Exeter Chiefs, England) #845 6. Tadhg Beirne (Munster Rugby, Ireland) #838 7. Hamish Watson (Edinburgh Rugby, Scotland) #847 8. Jack Conan (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #839


16. Jamie George (Saracens, England) #819 17. Mako Vunipola (Saracens, England) #787 18. Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland) #848 19. Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys, Wales) #761 20. Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs, England) #849 21. Gareth Davies (Scarlets, Wales) #850 22. Chris Harris (Gloucester Rugby, Scotland) #844 23. Louis Rees-Zammit (Gloucester Rugby, Wales) #846