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Ellis to make first Lions start

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Harry Ellis will make his first start in a British &Irish Lions jersey against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Saturday (kick-off 2pm).

Leicester Tigers scrum-half Ellis, who enjoyed a taste of action when he came off the bench in the 74-10 win over Golden Lions on Wednesday, has been named in the starting line-up for the Lions’ third game of their tour to South Africa.

England international Ellis is joined by Stephen Ferris, Luke Fitzgerald, Ross Ford, Leigh Halfpenny, James Hook, Euan Murray, Donccha O’Callaghan and Andy Powell, who are also making their first starts of the tour. The Lions tour management said at the outset that every player would start one of the first three games.

Head coach Ian McGeechan said: “All the squad players will have taken to the field according to plan.”

Ellis’s Lions debut will be shown live on the big screen in the ABC Bar at Welford Road. The Barbarians game against Australia (10.30am) and England’s clash with Argentina (4pm) will also be shown live in the bar on Saturday.

Lions (vs Cheetahs, Bloemfontein, Saturday, June 6 2pm)
15 Lee Byrne (Ospreys/Wales)
14 Leigh Halfpenny (Cardiff Blues/Wales)
13 Keith Earls (Munster/Ireland)
12 Luke Fitzgerald (Leinster/Ireland)
11 Shane Williams (Ospreys/Wales)
10 James Hook (Ospreys/Wales)
9 Harry Ellis (Leicester Tigers/England)
1 Andrew Sheridan (Sale Sharks/England)
2 Ross Ford (Edinburgh/Scotland)
3 Euan Murray (Northampton Saints/Scotland)
4 Donncha O'Callaghan (Munster/Ireland)
5 Paul O'Connell (Munster/Ireland) captain
6 Stephen Ferris (Ulster/Ireland)
7 Joe Worsley (London Wasps/England)
8 Andy Powell (Cardiff Blues/Wales)

16 Matthew Rees (Scarlets/Wales)
17 Adam Jones (Ospreys/Wales)
18 Simon Shaw (London Wasps/England)
19 Nathan Hines (Perpignan/Scotland)
20 Mike Blair (Edinburgh/Scotland)
21 Ronan O'Gara (Munster/Ireland)
22 Gordon D'Arcy (Leinster/Ireland)