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Robbie Henshaw Included In Opening Lions XV Of Summer Series

He'll be joined in midfield by Bundee Aki.

Warren Gatland has named Robbie Henshaw at outside centre for The Lions opening game against Japan. 

It'll be an all Irish midfield as he is partnered by Bundee Aki. 

Four more Irishmen make the starting side, Iain Henderson, Jack Conan and Tadhg Beirne are selected in the pack with Conor Murray at scrum-half. 

Tadhg Furlong will aim to make an impact on the bench. 

It'll take place this Saturday at Murrayfield at 3pm. 

Speaking to LionsRugby.com Warren Gatland said:

“We’re anticipating a tough game against Japan – a side that like to play at a high-tempo and shift the ball,” 

“We saw throughout the World Cup they have attacking threats across the park and a solid defence and set piece.

“I’m pleased with the progress we’ve made during our training camp in Jersey so far, but we’ve a long way to go. You can see that the squad are starting to get to grips with our game strategies, but, as always with a Lions Tour, this takes time to bed in.

“We’re in a good place though and I can tell there’s a lot more to come from this group.

“Everyone in the squad will get a start before the start of the Test Series, so each member of the squad can put their hand up for Test selection.

“We are absolutely delighted to be playing in front of sixteen thousand supporters in Edinburgh. I’m sure the crowd will give the players an enormous lift before we depart for South Africa on Sunday.”

Starting XV

15. Liam Williams (Scarlets, Wales) 
14. Josh Adams (Cardiff Rugby, Wales)
13. Robbie Henshaw (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) 
12. Bundee Aki (Connacht Rugby, Ireland)
11. Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh Rugby, Scotland)
10. Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints, Wales) 
9. Conor Murray (Munster Rugby, Ireland) 
1. Rory Sutherland (Edinburgh Rugby, Scotland)
2. Ken Owens (Scarlets, Wales) 
3. Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland)
4. Iain Henderson (Ulster Rugby, Ireland) 
5. Alun Wyn Jones – Captain (Ospreys, Wales) 
6. Tadhg Beirne (Munster Rugby, Ireland)
7. Hamish Watson (Edinburgh Rugby, Scotland)
8. Jack Conan (Leinster Rugby, Ireland)

Replacements:

  1. Jamie George (Saracens, England) 
  2. Wyn Jones (Scarlets, Wales)
  3. Tadhg Furlong (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) 
  4. Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, England) 
  5. Taulupe Faletau (Bath Rugby, Wales)
  6. Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland)
  7. Owen Farrell (Saracens, England) 
  8. Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, England) 

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