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Lions to call on up to eight replacements to provide cover for midweek games

• Warren Gatland set to call up players to give Test 23 cover
• Players set to come from touring Wales and Scotland squads

The British & Irish Lions are set to call up as many as eight replacements to join the tour party in New Zealand as cover for their final midweek fixtures. The unnamed individuals, likely to be four Welsh and four Scottish players, will help to bolster the bench against the Chiefs in Waikato on Tuesday. That will allow the coach’s first-choice 23 to prepare properly for next Saturday’s first Test against New Zealand.

Warren Gatland indicated as long ago as September he was considering calling up additional bodies but is waiting until this weekend’s Test matches involving the home unions are completed before confirming his choices. The Lions probably need four forwards and four backs which, with Owen Farrell and Courtney Lawes sidelined, would allow them to deploy two different matchday squads of 23.

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