Ireland centre Bundee Aki has been drafted into the matchday squad for the British and Irish Lions against the Sharks in Pretoria as Warren Gatland's side were forced into two late changes after Maro Itoje and Finn Russell were ruled out.

Russell has withdrawn from the original list of replacements for the 5pm kick-off because of an Achilles injury he has been managing. Gatland called up England out-half Marcus Smith as injury cover, although Russell will remain with the squad.

Connacht back Aki comes in to offer back cover against the Sharks while Ireland team-mates Jack Conan, Tadhg Beirine and Tadhg Furlong retain their places in the starting forward pack. Tour captain and Ireland scrum-half Connor Murray is also on the bench.

Itoje has a mild gastric bug and is replaced in the second row by England team-mate Courtney Lawes, whose place on the bench is taken by Adam Beard.

The Lions are playing the Sharks for the second time in four days after original opponents the Bulls pulled out because of an outbreak of coronavirus in their camp.

Gatland's side won the first meeting on Wednesday night 54-7 to continue their winning progress through the tour.

British and Irish Lions: L Williams, A Watson, Daly, Harris, Van der Merwe; Biggar, Davies; Sutherland, George (captain), Furlong, Lawes, Hill, Beirne, H Watson, Conan.

Replacements: Owens, Jones, Sinckler, Beard, Simmonds, Curry, Murray, Aki.