Former Wales winger Shane Williams has been called up for the British & Irish Lions to play in Tuesdays match against the ACT Brumbies in Canberra.
Williams is joined by new call up’s Brad Barritt and Christian Wade who have both been drafted into the squad and will play immediately in the match on Tuesday.
Williams has been in Australia travelling with a supporters tour group and his call up echo’s that of Scotland scrum half Andy Nicol who was called up by the British & Irish Lions to the bench for the third test in 2001.
Brad Barritt was being rested from the England tour of Argentina and had been on holiday in the US, but is now making his way down to Australia.
Christian Wade, had been on the England tour was withdrawn from the side to play the Pumas in order that he can travel in time to face the Brumbies on Tuesday.
Williams will join up with the squad on Monday, train and play Tuesday and then be released on Wednesday, whereas the other two are being called up as cover for the remainder of the tour.
Warren Gatland said “We spoke to Shane with the proviso that he comes on Monday, trains and plays on Tuesday, and leaves on Wednesday, and he is perfectly happy with that. We are just trying to be pro-active in terms of looking after players, and giving potentially our Test side the best possible chance of being fit with everyone fresh for next Saturday.”
The trio come straight into the team to face the Brumbies along with other new arrival Billy Twelvetrees.
The team selected will know that their chances of starting the first test on Saturday will surely be limited, but those selected on the bench may be involved on Saturday in some capacity.
This will mean disappointment for some who had high hopes of making the test team including the likes of Ben Youngs, Richie Gray and Toby Faletau.
The British & Irish Lions team to face the ACT Brumbies is:
15: Rob Kearney
14: Christian Wade
13: Brad Barritt
12: Billy Twelvetrees
11: Shane Williams
10: Stuart Hogg
9: Ben Youngs
8: Toby Faletau
7: Justin Tipuric
6: Sean O’Brien
5: Richie Grey
4: Ian Evans
3: Matt Stevens
2: Rory Best (c)
1: Ryan Grant