Negative set of tests for British & Irish Lions

The British & Irish Lions touring party returned a negative set of Covid-19 tests on Friday allowing coach Warren Gatland to make 13 changes to the team facing the Sharks in Pretoria on Saturday (Sunday morning NZT) after several days of disruption.

Hooker Jamie George will captain the Lions' third game on their South Africa tour as they meet the Sharks for a second time in four days, having romped past them 54-7 in Johannesburg on Thursday morning.

The Sharks are standing in for original opponents the Bulls after the Currie Cup champions suffered several Covid-19 infections and were left unable to field a team for the game at Loftus Versfeld.

The Lions have had their own Covid scares with their first game against the Sharks in doubt until two hours before kick off but on Friday they reported a virtual all clear. They had to leave eight players out of the original lineup in midweek over infection fears.

Only one management member, who tested positive on Wednesday, is a confirmed case and four close contacts (one player and three members of staff) are being isolated at the team hotel, the team said.