Justin Tipuric replaces Hamish Watson in British and Irish Lions XV to face Japan at Murrayfield
Scotland and British and Irish Lions openside Hamish Watson has pulled out of the Lions' starting XV to face Japan at Murrayfield on Saturday. The 29-year-old, who was in line to make his Lions debut, suffered a concussion in training on Tuesday and has been replaced by Justin Tipuric
Last Updated: 23/06/21 3:15pm
The British and Irish Lions have suffered a setback ahead of Saturday's pre-tour clash with Japan after Hamish Watson was ruled out by concussion.
Watson sustained a concussion during training at the squad's camp in Jersey on Tuesday and must now begin return to play protocols, preventing him from making his Lions debut at Murrayfield.
The vacancy at openside is filled by Wales' Justin Tipuric, a veteran of two previous Lions tours who has been promoted into the starting XV from outside of the 23 originally selected by Warren Gatland.
Watson was one of four Scotsmen picked to start by Gatland as a nod to the match being held at Murrayfield, where a crowd of 16,500 will be present for the curtain-raiser to the South Africa tour.
It robs the 29-year-old of an early chance to impress the Lions management in the race to claim a back row spot against the Springboks.
Watson was voted Six Nations player of the year after a series of powerful displays, including Scotland's outstanding away wins against England and France.
Tipuric will join Ireland duo Tadhg Beirne (blindside flanker) and Jack Conan (No 8) in the back-row to face the Brave Blossoms in Edinburgh.
Wales' Taulpe Faletau provides back-row cover among the replacements.
British & Irish Lions: 15 Liam Williams, 14 Josh Adams, 13 Robbie Henshaw, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Duhan van der Merwe, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Conor Murray, 1 Rory Sutherland, 2 Ken Owens, 3 Zander Fagerson, 4 Iain Henderson, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (c), 6 Tadhg Beirne, 7 Justin Tipuric, 8 Jack Conan.
Replacements: 16 Jamie George, 17 Wyn Jones, 18 Tadhg Furlong, 19 Courtney Lawes, 20 Taulupe Faletau, 21 Ali Price, 22 Owen Farrell, 23 Anthony Watson.
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