International Tour – South Africa vs British & Irish Lions Preview & Prediction

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THE FACTS

When is South Africa vs British & Irish Lions taking place? Saturday 31st July, 2021 – 17:00 (UK)

Where is South Africa vs British & Irish Lions taking place? Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town

Where can I get tickets for South Africa vs British & Irish Lions? Check each nation’s official Rugby Union website for the latest ticket information

What channel is South Africa vs British & Irish Lions on? This match will be televised live on Sky Sports

Where can I stream South Africa vs British & Irish Lions? Sky Sports subscribers can stream this match live via Sky Go

THE TEAM NEWS

South Africa: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Jasper Wiese, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (c), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff

Replacements: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Lood de Jager, 20 Marco van Staden, 21 Kwagga Smith, 22 Herschel Jantjies, 23 Damian Willemse

British & Irish Lions: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Anthony Watson, 13 Chris Harris, 12 Robbie Henshaw, 11 Duhan van der Merwe, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Jack Conan, 7 Tom Curry, 6 Courtney Lawes, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (c), 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 1 Mako Vunipola

Replacements: 16 Ken Owens, 17 Rory Sutherland, 18 Kyle Sinckler, 19 Tadhg Beirne, 20 Taulupe Faletau, 21 Ali Price, 22 Owen Farrell, 23 Elliot Daly

THE PREDICTION

After a solid defensive display from the Springboks in the first half of the first test an enthralling match turned completely on its head in the second as the British & Irish Lions overwhelmed their hosts in the second. Having gone in at half-time 12-3 down, a 22-17 victory is a hugely positive result that seemed to disperse plenty of pressure surrounding the Lions and the very series itself. South Africa head coach Rassie Erasmus’ antics on social media have only amped up in the fall-out from that first test and that has rarely been a good sign in recent sporting history but the Springboks are a changed side for this second test where they have to go for broke. Their second-half crumbling, though realistically it was more about the Lions’ improving intensity than a big failing on the hosts’ part, suggests that pre-series doubts about South Africa’s test fitness might be founded. However, they should be a slightly better side for that same reason this Saturday with the series on the line and head coach Warren Gatland has turned to Mako Vunipola to help combat that added incentive.

All in all, the Lions were simply exceptional in the second-half last Saturday and it is hard to see South Africa improve enough to take this series to the final day. The Lions covered -4 to victory last time out and with this second test likely to be a more open contest they should be able to cover -5 in a famous victory here.

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