Scottish prop Zander Fagerson RULED OUT of Lions XV to face Japan on Saturday due to back spasms… with Ireland’s Tadhg Furlong replacing him at tighthead for opener at Murrayfield
- Zander Fagerson is the latest Scottish player to be ruled out of the Lions opener
- Warren Gatland has withdrawn the 25-year-old from his XV as a precaution
- 2017 Lions Test starter Tadhg Furlong will take his place at tighthead prop
- The Lions face Japan at Murrayfield on Saturday before flying to South Africa
The Lions have lost another Scotland player from their line-up to face Japan at Murrayfield on Saturday, as prop Zander Fagerson has been ruled out after suffering back spasms.
Glasgow’s 25-year-old tighthead had been due to start against the Brave Blossoms at his national stadium, but he has been withdrawn from the pre-tour fixture as a precaution.
His place in the No 3 shirt will be taken by Ireland’s Tadhg Furlong, while England’s Kyle Sinckler has been included among the replacements.
Scottish prop Zander Fagerson has been ruled out of the Lions XV to face Japan on Saturday
Ireland’s Tadhg Furlong will take Fagerson’s place at tighthead prop at Murrayfield
The loss of Fagerson means a further reduction in the Scottish contingent who were picked to play in Edinburgh.
Hamish Watson had already been removed from the starting XV following a training ground head injury, but the formidable resources available to the Lions were highlighted as Welsh openside flanker Justin Tipuric was promoted to fill the void.
Similarly, Furlong will add experience, pedigree and physical clout to the British and Irish pack in the clash with the Japanese, before Sunday’s departure to Johannesburg for the start of the South Africa tour.
Lions head coach Warren Gatland said: ‘It’s a shame for Zander not to be able to run out at Murrayfield as a Lion, but he’s not quite one hundred per cent.
‘He’ll get a chance to start in the next two games and stake a claim for a Test spot in South Africa, so it’s not worth the risk.’
Lions coach Warren Gatland says Fagerson will get a chance to start in the next two games
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