British & Irish Lions

Hamish Watson out of Lions clash with Japan after concussion

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Warren Gatland (Getty)
Warren Gatland (Getty)

The British and Irish Lions have suffered a setback ahead of Saturday's pre-tour clash with Japan after Scotland's Hamish Watson was ruled out by concussion.

Watson sustained a head injury 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 to 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.

Watson was voted Six Nations player of the year after a series of powerful displays, including in Scotland's outstanding away wins against England and France.

Saturday's clash at Murrayfield is scheduled for 16:00 (SA time).

British & Irish Lions team:

15 Liam Williams (WAL), 14 Josh Adams (WAL), 13 Robbie Henshaw (IRL), 12 Bundee Aki (IRL), 11 Duhan van der Merwe (SCO), 10 Dan Biggar (WAL), 9 Conor Murray (IRL), 8 Jack Conan (IRL), 7 Justin Tipuric (WAL), 6 Tadhg Beirne (IRL), 5 Alun Wyn Jones (WAL, captain), 4 Iain Henderson (IRL), 3 Zander Fagerson (SCO), 2 Ken Owens (WAL), 1 Rory Sutherland (SCO)

Substitutes: 16 Jamie George (ENG), 17 Wyn Jones (WAL), 18 Tadhg Furlong (IRL), 19 Courtney Lawes (ENG), 20 Taulupe Faletau (WAL), 21 Ali Price (SCO), 22 Owen Farrell (ENG), 23 Anthony Watson (ENG)

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