Rugby-Fagerson out of Lions side with back issue, replaced by Furlong

FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - Rugby World Cup 2019 - Pool A - Japan v Scotland - International Stadium Yokohama, Yokohama, Japan - October 13, 2019 Scotland's Zander Fagerson scores their third try REUTERS/Matthew Childs/File Photo

(Reuters) - Scotland prop Zander Fagerson has been ruled of the British & Irish Lions lineup to face Japan on Saturday because of a back spasm and will be replaced by Ireland's Tadhg Furlong, the team said on Thursday.

Fagerson pulled out after he was unable to train on Thursday morning.

The Lions are due to meet Japan at Murrayfield as they prepare for their tour of South Africa, where they will face the world champion Springboks on July 24, 31 and Aug. 7.

South Africa have not played since beating England in the World Cup final in 2019 and will warm up for the series with tests against Georgia.

"It's a shame for Zander not to be able to run out at Murrayfield as a Lion, but he's not quite one hundred percent,” coach Warren Gatland said.

"He'll get a chance to start in the next two games and stake a claim for a test spot in South Africa, so it's not worth the risk."

On Wednesday, Scotland flanker Hamish Watson was ruled out of the lineup after suffering a head injury in training and was replaced by Justin Tipuric.

(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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