Scotland's Stuart Hogg to captain British & Irish Lions in first game in South Africa

Scotland's Stuart Hogg will captain the British and Irish Lions in their South Africa tour opener against the Gauteng Lions. Visionhaus/Getty Images

Scotland fullback Stuart Hogg will captain the British & Irish Lions in the opening match of their South African tour, when they take on the Gauteng-based Lions at Ellis Park on Saturday.

Welsh winger Josh Adams is the only player retained in the starting lineup from the side that beat Japan 28-10 in Edinburgh last weekend in a warm-up game before their departure for Johannesburg.

Louis Rees-Zammit, Chris Harris and Jonny Hill will all debut for the Lions from the start, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Zander Fagerson, Sam Simmonds and Gareth Davies are likely to get a first taste of Lions action off the replacement's bench.

The side includes four players from the Exeter Chiefs team that lost last Saturday's Premiership final at Twickenham and who had not been part of the Lions' training camp in Jersey.

"The exciting thing from a coach's perspective... I don't know so much about the players... but just the amount of competition that we've got in the squad," Hogg said on Thursday.

"The guys are starting to gel together.

"There were aspects of the Japan game that we were particularly happy with, especially the first half, and the boys have looked pretty sharp in the last couple of training days."

"Owen's [Farrell] had a huge amount of experience. It's his third tour, he is captain of England and he is adding a lot to the environment. And then Finn [Russell] has a slightly different way of playing but I think he's matured amazingly in the last few years in terms of the way he controls the game.

"It's pretty exciting to have a look at that back combination but we do want to look at Owen at No. 10 at some stage too."

Lions Starting XV

Stuart Hogg (captain), Louis Rees-Zammit, Chris Harris, Owen Farrell, Josh Adams, Finn Russell, Ali Price, Taulupe Faletau, Hamish Watson, Courtney Lawes, Jonny Hill, Maro Itoje, Kyle Sinckler, Jamie George, Wyn Jones.

Replacements: Luke Cowan-Dickie, Mako Vunipola, Zander Fagerson, Iain Henderson, Sam Simmonds, Gareth Davies, Bundee Aki, Elliot Daly.