Halfpenny, Daly and the other contenders to replace injured Hogg in Lions Test side

Stuart Hogg's tour-ending facial injury has opened up the race for the British and Irish Lions' Test full-back jersey.

Player of the Championship for the past two Six Nations, Hogg was tipped by many as a definite starter for the Lions' All Blacks opener on June 24.

However, an unfortunate collision with Conor Murray's elbow during the victory over the Crusaders on Saturday brought about the end of his involvement, with confirmation coming on Tuesday that the Scotland international had suffered a facial fracture.

Warren Gatland has opted not to call up a replacement, having named a squad that is already rich in experience at full-back.

Here we take a look at those in the running to don the No.15 jersey when the Tests roll around.


Test caps: 74
Starts at full-back: 50

Halfpenny is the most experienced of our contenders and the most likely to be given the nod come Auckland.

The Toulon full-back started all three Lions Tests under Gatland against Australia in 2013 and is well known to the boss in his day job as Wales coach.

Test caps: 20
Starts at full-back: 3

Named at full-back for the defeat to the Highlanders on Tuesday, Payne also wore the 15 jersey in Ireland's memorable victory over England at the end of the 2017 Six Nations.

Payne is New Zealand-born, a factor that could play in his favour when Gatland makes his decision.


Test caps: 13
Starts at full-back: 0

Daly is one of the most versatile players in the squad - able to feature at centre or on the wings, as well as at full-back - and has a monstrous kick in his arsenal.

England coach Eddie Jones believes Daly will end up at full-back long term and, while the Wasps man is untried in the position at Test level, his international boss has compared him to World Cup winner Jason Robinson.


Test caps: 43
Starts at full-back: 17

Another of the frontrunners in this particular race, interim Wales coach Rob Howley resisted calls to start Williams in place of Halfpenny at 15 during the Six Nations.

The new Saracens signing found himself in the sin bin just 10 minutes after making his Lions debut against the Blues but played the full 80 minutes of the hard-fought victory over the Crusaders, albeit again on the wing.


Test caps: 26
Starts at full-back: 0

Like England colleague Daly, Watson has been tipped as a future international full-back and is a regular in the position for club side Bath.

He has consistently been preferred on the wings for the national team but impressed after coming on for Hogg 20 minutes into the Crusaders match.


Test caps: 23
Starts at full-back: 0

Nowell has also spent a lot of time at full-back during his rugby development but is more commonly deployed out wide.

Despite making the switch back to the position to cover for the injured Lachlan Turner late in Exeter Chiefs' title-winning campaign, Nowell is an outsider for the Test start.

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