Duhan van der Merwe and Josh Adams score hat-tricks as Lions put Sharks to the sword after Covid chaos

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Good afternoon and welcome to Telegraph Sport‘s live coverage of the Lions vs the Sharks at Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg.

It has been another chaotic day with a member of the tourists’ management team testing positive for Covid-19, forcing two players into self-isolation as close contacts.

The squad has had to undertake an additional round of PCR tests ahead of tonight’s match which has been pushed back by an hour to 7pm BST.

This match is of extra significance given that Saturday’s fixture against the Bulls has already been called-off due to positive cases in their camp.

It will not have been easy for the players to prepare for tonight’s match with all the coronavirus chaos the day has brought. Nevertheless, a number of players have an opportunity to lay down their first marker for the tour.

True to his word, Warren Gatland has given every player in the Lions touring party a chance to start in one of the first three matches. However, it is unclear at this stage which two players have been forced into isolation and whether that will force any late changes.

The back row selected for tonight’s clash is especially exciting with Tom Curry making his Lions debut at openside. He is joined by late call-up Josh Navidi and dynamic No 8 Sam Simmonds, who made a cameo at the weekend.

Elliot Daly was superb off the bench on Saturday in his preferred outside centre role. The Saracen gets a chance to start there tonight in a partnership with Bundee Aki that could well be replicated in the Test series given their complementary skills.

Anthony Watson is another player that will feel he has a point to prove. Josh Adams has started the tour in superb form while Louis Rees-Zammit and Duhan van der Merwe have both had their moments already. The Bath man has been one of England’s best players over the last year, rediscovering his top form after a tough time with injury. 

It will be a fascinating match tonight. Let’s hope we make it to kick-off…

Read more at www.telegraph.co.uk

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