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Lions legend backs Liam Williams to start ahead of Stuart Hogg against South Africa

Liam Williams Stuart Hogg

British and Irish Lions legend JPR Williams has backed Liam Williams to start ahead of Stuart Hogg at fullback against the Springboks.

Hogg is the front runner to start in the 15 shirt for the Lions in their first test against South Africa, after a fantastic season with both Scotland and Exeter Chiefs.

Former Wales and Lions fullback Williams believes his countryman should start at 15 however, telling the Daily Mail that he reckons the starting 15 from the 2017 tour has a “little bit extra” than Hogg.

‘Liam has that little bit extra.’

“I was lucky all the teams I played for – Bridgend, London Welsh, Wales, the Lions – played an attacking game. We entertained and enjoyed it ourselves.

“Modern players need to realise they are getting paid big money and they have to entertain the public.

“Liam Williams does that. I think I see a bit of myself in him. I’ve always rated him. He’s very comfortable counter-attacking and he’s a good tackler.

“He’d be my number one full-back choice for the Lions. Even though I think Stuart Hogg is superb, Liam has that little bit extra.”

Liam Williams and Stuart Hogg set to battle it out for the 15 jersey.

Williams started in all three tests for the Lions against the All Blacks in 2017, and will be remembered for starting the move that saw Sean O’Brien score an incredible try in the first test at Eden Park.

Hogg was in with a great chance of winning a first-ever test cap for the Lions in New Zealand four years ago, but his tour was ended early on after suffering a freak injury in the game against the Crusaders.

The Scotsman is expected to finally win a test cap for the Lions on his third tour in South Africa, although Hogg will be unavailable for the first game against Japan due to club commitments.

Wales veteran Williams has plenty of experience playing under Gatland for both his country and the Lions and will undoubtedly be Hogg’s main competitor for the starting fullback role.

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