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‘Fantastic’ Owen Farrell backed to have great Lions tour by Warren Gatland

Owen Farrell has been fast-tracked on to the British and Irish Lions’ bench against Japan as Warren Gatland reveals a squad poll identified the England captain as the talisman of the tourists’ leadership group. For the first time since 1950, the Lions have picked a starting XV devoid of England players with four Scots – Duhan van der Merwe, Rory Sutherland, Zander Fagerson and Hamish Watson – selected for Saturday’s Edinburgh appointment. While none of Eddie Jones’ men have made the team, four have been selected among the replacements including Farrell, who only six days ago helped relegated Saracens seal their return to the Gallagher Premiership.

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