Sinckler added to Lions squad for Japan clash with Fagerson ruled out


ngland’s Kyle Sinckler has been elevated to the British and Lions bench to face Japan at Murrayfield on Saturday after Zander Fagerson became the second Scotland player ruled out in just 24 hours.

Fagerson has a back spasm and was unable to train on Thursday morning. He follows Hamish Watson (concussion) in withdrawing from the starting XV Lions coach Warren Gatland initially named on Tuesday.

“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,” said Gatland.

“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.”

Ireland’s Tadhg Furlong starts at tighthead prop, with Sinckler coming onto the bench.

Sinckler was a surprise omission from the original touring party, but was belatedly called up after Ireland’s Andrew Porter suffered an injury.

Having played for Bristol on Saturday, he has not been with the Lions for their entire pre-tour Jersey training camp, so was originally left out of the squad to face Japan.

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Sinckler’s promotion means there are five Englishmen on the bench for the Lions this weekend, but none in the starting XV.

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