O'Callaghan captain for final Lions warm-up

Donncha O'Callaghan will captain the British and Irish Lions against the Southern Kings in their final tour match before the first Test.

Lions head coach Ian McGeechan has maintained from the outset that his final selection for the first Test will not be made until after tomorrow's clash in Port Elizabeth.



O'Callaghan leads a team with a number of players - the likes of Euan Murray, Andy Powell and James Hook - who are considered to be in with a genuine chance of pressing for a place in the Test 22.



Powell has been given another chance to impress at number eight following his eye-catching performance against Western Province at the weekend.



Simon Shaw will partner O'Callaghan in the second row while Euan Murray, Ross Ford and Andrew Sheridan complete a powerful tight five unit.



But in other areas the selection has the distinct feel of a shadow team about it.



Scotland lock Nathan Hines will be pressed into action at blindside flanker with Joe Worsley switched to the openside.



Gordon D'Arcy will make his first start of the tour alongside Riki Flutey, who has been switched to outside centre.



Mike Blair has been named at scrum-half but faces a fitness test in the morning on the ankle injury which forced him to pull out of the squad for Saturday's victory over Western Province.



Shane Williams and Luke Fitzgerald start on the wings with Keith Earls switched from outside centre to full-back.



McGeechan said: "This is Test week and there is a noticeable change in attitude within the touring party. We are now heading towards the business end of the tour and the reason why we have come to South Africa.

"As you would expect the immediate focus is the next match against the Southern Kings on Tuesday before attention turns to selection for the First Test for which all players will be considered.



"Seven players are backing up from the Western Province match with Nathan Hines, Joe Worsley, Riki Flutey and Keith Earls given the opportunity in the starting XV in different positions.



"The team will be captained by proud Munster man Donncha O'Callaghan, an experienced Lions tourist, who is a very popular member of the squad. This will be his 10th Lions match including two Tests against New Zealand during the 2005 tour."



Tom Croft and David Wallace, considered favourites in many quarters to start in the Test back row, are both included on the bench to cover the Lions shortage of loose-forward options.

Winger Ugo Monye and fly-half Ronan O'Gara will also start among the replacements in Port Elizabeth.

British & Irish Lions team to play the Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday:

K Earls (Munster & Ireland); S Williams (Ospreys & Wales), R Flutey (Wasps & England), G D'Arcy (Leinster & Ireland), L Fitzgerald (Leinster & Ireland), J Hook (Ospreys & Wales), M Blair (Edinburgh & Scotland); A Sheridan (Sale Sharks & England), R Ford (Edinburgh & Scotland), E Murray (Northampton & Scotland), S Shaw (Wasps & England), D O'Callaghan (Munster & Ireland) (capt), N Hines (Perpignan & Scotland), J Worsley (Wasps & England), A Powell (Cardiff Blues & Wales).



Replacements: M Rees (Scarlets & Wales), A Jones (Ospreys & Wales), T Croft (Leicester Tigers & England), D Wallace (Munster & Ireland), H Ellis (Leicester Tigers & England), R O'Gara (Munster & Ireland), U Monye (Harlequins & England).

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