Lions v Japan: Kick off time, TV channel, where to watch for free, team news, lineups, venue and latest odds

·4-min read
Lions v Japan: Kick off time, TV channel, where to watch for free, team news, lineups, venue and latest odds
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

The British and Irish Lions warm up for their truncated summer tour of South Africa with a very rare home fixture against Japan this afternoon.

After a pre-tour training camp in Jersey, the Lions are playing on home soil for the first time in 16 years, having last hosted Argentina prior to the trip to New Zealand back in 2005.

Indeed, it is only the third time that the touring side - who come together every four years, with players selected from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland - have ever contested a match at home.

They will be favourites to overcome 2019 Rugby World Cup hosts and quarter-finalists Japan, with players eager to impress head coach Warren Gatland ahead of shortened trip to South Africa that includes only five tour matches before the three-Test series against the reigning world champion Springboks in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

Lions v Japan kick off time

Today’s contest kicks off at 3pm BST, just two-and-a-half hours before Harlequins and Exeter Chiefs are due to clash in the Premiership Final at Twickenham.

There are several players involved in that latter contest - such as Stuart Hogg, Sam Simmonds, Luke Cowan-Dickie and Jonny Hill - who are obviously unavailable for the Lions today but will join the squad ahead of the trip to South Africa.

Lions v Japan venue

Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh - the home of Scottish rugby - is the venue for today’s meeting between the Lions and Japan.

There will be a reduced capacity of 16,500 fans in attendance at the match.

Lions v Japan TV channel and where to watch

TV channel: Today’s match is being broadcast live free-to-air on Channel 4, with coverage beginning at 2:15pm.

Lions v Japan team news

Gatland initially included four Scotland players in his starting XV - captained by Wales legend Alun Wyn Jones - to face Japan, but dynamic back-row Hamish Watson (concussion) and tighthead prop Zander Fagerson (back spasms) were subsequently ruled out.

Ireland’s Tadhg Furlong and Wales flanker Justin Tipuric start instead, with Kyle Sinckler - whose initial tour omission was reversed following an injury sustained by Andrew Porter - promoted to the bench.

Sinckler is joined on the list of replacements by compatriots Owen Farrell, Jamie George, Courtney Lawes and Anthony Watson, with no England players in line to start at Murrayfield.

The lineup is comprised of seven Irishman, six Welshman and two remaining Scots in loosehead Rory Sutherland and wing Duhan van der Merwe.

Lions v Japan lineups

Lions XV: 15. Liam Williams; 14. Josh Adams, 13. Robbie Henshaw, 12. Bundee Aki, 11. Duhan van der Merwe; 10. Dan Biggar, 9. Conor Murray; 1. Rory Sutherland, 2. Ken Owens, 3. Tadhg Furlong; 4. Iain Henderson, 5. Alun Wyn Jones (capt), 6. Tadhg Beirne 7. Justin Tipuric; 8. Jack Conan

Replacements: George, W Jones, Sinckler, Lawes, Faletau, Price, Farrell, Watson

Japan XV: 1. Keita Inagaki, 2. Atsushi Sakate, 3. Jiwon Koo, 4. Wimpie van der Walt, 5. James Moore, 6. Michael Leitch (capt), 7. Pieter Labuschagne, 8. Amanaki Lelei Mafi; 9. Kaito Shigeno, 10. Yu Tamura; 11. Siosaia Fifita, 12. Ryoto Nakamura, 13. Timothy Lafaele, 14. Kotaro Matsushima, 15. Ryohei Yamanaka

Replacements: 16. Horikoshi, 17. Millar, 18. Valu, 19. Cornelsen, 20. Himeno, 21. Tatafu, 22. Saito, 23. Matsuda

Lions tour squad

Forwards

Tadhg Beirne (Ireland), Jack Conan (Ireland), Luke Cowan-Dickie (England), Tom Curry (England), Zander Fagerson (Scotland), Taulupe Faletau (Wales), Tadhg Furlong (Ireland), Jamie George (England), Iain Henderson (Ireland), Jonny Hill (England), Maro Itoje (England), Alun Wyn Jones (Wales, captain), Wyn Jones (Wales), Courtney Lawes (England), Ken Owens (Wales), Kyle Sinckler (England), Sam Simmonds (England), Rory Sutherland (Scotland), Justin Tipuric (Wales), Mako Vunipola (England), Hamish Watson (Scotland)

Backs

Josh Adams (Wales), Bundee Aki (Ireland), Dan Biggar (Wales), Elliot Daly (England), Gareth Davies (Wales), Owen Farrell (England), Chris Harris (Scotland), Robbie Henshaw (Ireland), Stuart Hogg (Scotland), Conor Murray (Ireland), Ali Price (Scotland), Louis Rees-Zammit (Wales), Finn Russell (Scotland), Duhan van der Merwe (Scotland), Anthony Watson (England), Liam Williams (Wales)

Lions vs Japan odds

Lions win: 1/11

Japan win: Between 11/1 and 12/1

Draw: 64/1

Odds via Betfair Exchange (subject to change). Click here to find out more.

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