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Page last updated at 10:13 GMT, Saturday, 27 June 2009 11:13 UK

Lions make five changes for Test

Second Test - South Africa v British and Irish Lions
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria Date: Saturday 27 June Start: 1400 BST
Coverage: Live on Sky Sports, 5 Live and live text commentary on the BBC Sport website


Simon Shaw
Shaw also toured South Africa with the Lions in 1997

The British and Irish Lions have made five changes for the second Test against South Africa at Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria on Saturday.

Simon Shaw replaces Alun Wyn Jones in the second row and Adam Jones and Matthew Rees come in for Phil Vickery and Lee Mears in the front row.

Rob Kearney replaces the injured Lee Byrne at full-back and Luke Fitzgerald bumps Ugo Monye from the left wing.

The Lions lost last Saturday's first Test in Durban 26-21.

Coach Ian McGeechan said: "There were some close calls last week and we have just made some adjustments for the way we want to play.

"Luke [Fitzgerald] had a very good game again on Tuesday and I think he deserves his opportunity."

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And on Shaw, McGeechan added: "I think it is his 18th time in a Lions jersey and his first Test, so I am delighted for him.

"He is a very experienced player and well respected around the world. We feel he can do a very good job for us on Saturday. Sometimes a different player offers something slightly different in the way we want to manage the game."

Captain Paul O'Connell said about his new second row partner: "I think he is a fabulous player and well adapted to the way we play.

"He is very good at the line-out but around the pitch as well, and he's a good scrummager. He is a very complete player with a lot of experience, and you can never under-estimate the value of that."

Regarding the changes in the front row, McGeechan denied it had been a mistake to start with Mears at hooker last week.

Shaw calls for more physical approach

"[Lee] has had a very good tour and is a very good player," he said. "We have looked at specific aspects of what we want to do this week and we are able to adapt because Matt [Rees] and Ross [Ford] have been playing well enough to give us that option."

Byrne was later ruled out for the third Test, having been sent for a scan on a hand injury in addition to the foot problem which forced him off in Durban.

McGeechan had been expected to make wholesale changes to the scrum after it was demolished by the Springboks five days ago.

England's Vickery, who has been dropped from the squad altogether, was given a torrid time by Tendai Mtawarira, and Welshman Jones has been handed the task of keeping 'The Beast' in check.

But it is Shaw's inclusion that is perhaps the most compelling story, with the 35-year-old Wasps lock making his Lions Test debut, despite having toured in 1997 and 2005.

But it was not such good news for Shaw's England team-mate Monye, who was ruthlessly discarded after spurning two good try-scoring chances in Durban.

Ireland's Fitzgerald, 21, will make his Lions Test debut, while Wales' Shane Williams takes Monye's place on the bench.

Simon Shaw is a very complete player with a lot of experience, and you can never under-estimate the value of that

Lions captain Paul O'Connell

Scotland have one representative in the squad, with hooker Ford taking Mears' place in the squad, while England prop Andrew Sheridan is also a replacement.

England's Harry Ellis and Ireland's Ronan O'Gara are the half-back replacements, meaning there is no place on the bench for Welsh fly-half James Hook.

There are seven Irishmen in the starting XV, with six Welshmen and two Englishmen.

Saturday's match will be the first time the Lions have had an all-Welsh Test front row since 1955, when Billy Williams, Bryn Meredith and Courtenay Meredith lined up against the Springboks.


British and Irish Lions team to play South Africa at Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria on Saturday, 1400 BST:

R Kearney (Leinster and Ireland); T Bowe (Ospreys and Ireland), B O'Driscoll (Leinster and Ireland), J Roberts (Cardiff Blues and Wales), L Fitzgerald (Leinster and Ireland); S Jones (Scarlets and Wales), M Phillips (Ospreys and Wales); G Jenkins (Cardiff Blues and Wales), M Rees (Scarlets and Wales), A Jones (Ospreys and Wales), S Shaw (Wasps and England), P O'Connell (Munster and Ireland, capt), T Croft (Leicester and England), D Wallace (Munster and Ireland), J Heaslip (Leinster and Ireland).
Replacements: R Ford (Edinburgh and Scotland), A Sheridan (Sale Sharks and England), A-W Jones (Ospreys and Wales), M Williams (Cardiff Blues and Wales), H Ellis (Leicester and England), R O'Gara (Munster and Ireland), S Williams (Ospreys and Wales).



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2009 Lions: Squad & results
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