The British and Irish Lions go into Saturday after a tough first Test in which they fought back from a 12-3 deficit at the half to come back to beat South Africa 22-17 in Cape Town.
Dan Biggar’s excellent kicking display, totalling 11 points, along with the Lions’ only try from England Hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie was all part of an outstanding first Test.
The Springboks will look to start strong again in the second Test and show their world champion pedigree. In the first Test, Handrè Pollard capitalised on the tourists’ indiscipline by kicking four penalties to put the hosts 12-3 ahead at the break.
Replacement Owen Farrell then sealed a momentous 22-17 victory with a further three points late on to put the tourists 1-0 up ahead of the second Test this coming Saturday
Gatland has made three changes to his starting lineup with scrum-half Conor Murray, centre Chris Harris and prop Mako Vunipola coming into the side. Bath Rugby’s Anthony Watson has once again secured the no.14 jersey, with Taulupe Faletau set to make his 18th appearance as a Lion, being brought into the matchday squad as a replacement.
“As always, selection was incredibly tough,” said Lions Head Coach Warren Gatland. “However, we’ve made the changes we think are the right calls for the weekend’s game.
“It’ll be another tight contest. We know the Springboks will be hurting, and they’ll throw everything at us on Saturday, but I think there’s plenty more to come from us too. We feel we can go up another level from where we were in the first Test and I would expect us to improve.
“It’s the biggest game on the Tour and we have to embrace the expectation that comes with it. As players and coaches, these are the games you want to be involved in. We’re relishing the opportunity to face the Springboks again on Saturday and potentially seal a Series win.”
SOUTH AFRICA v THE BRITISH & IRISH LIONS
Saturday 31 July 2021, 5pm GMT
Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town
15. Stuart Hogg (Exeter Chiefs, Scotland) #783
14. Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, England) #816
13. Chris Harris (Gloucester Rugby, Scotland) #844
12. Robbie Henshaw (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #824
11. Duhan van der Merwe (Worcester Warriors, Scotland) #841
10. Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints, Wales) #821
9. Conor Murray (Munster Rugby, Ireland) #790
1. Mako Vunipola (Saracens, England) #787
2. Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, England) #851
3. Tadhg Furlong (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #818
4. Maro Itoje (Saracens, England) #825
5. Alun Wyn Jones – captain (Ospreys, Wales) #761
6. Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, England) #826
7. Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, England) #853
8. Jack Conan (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #839
16. Ken Owens (Scarlets, Wales) #829
17. Rory Sutherland (Worcester Warriors, Scotland) #840
18. Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, England) #814
19. Tadhg Beirne (Munster Rugby, Ireland) #838
20. Taulupe Faletau (Bath Rugby, Wales) #779
21. Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland) #843
22. Owen Farrell (Saracens, England) #780
23. Elliot Daly (Saracens, England) #822