Preparations continue for the Test series against the Springboks
The British and Irish Lions take on South Africa ‘A’ this evening as the tourists’ preparation for their Test series against the Springboks continues.
Having first defeated Japan and Sigma Lions, the Lions beat Cell C Sharks twice last week, with the South African side playing out their scheduled fixture against Warren Gatland’s team on Wednesday before stepping in for the Bulls on short notice on Saturday after a Covid outbreak.
With the first of the Lions’ three Test matches against the world champions set to take place on 24 July, Gatland’s players next go head-to-head with a South Africa ‘A’ team containing a number of established Springboks.
Here’s everything you need to know about the warm-up fixture in Cape Town.
When is it?
The match will kick off at 7pm BST this evening.
How can I watch it?
The fixture will air live on Sky Sports, with the game also available to stream live on the broadcaster’s website and SkyGo app.
What is the team news?
Conor Murray will make his first start since being named Alun Wyn Jones’ replacement as British and Irish Lions captain in Wednesday’s clash with South Africa ‘A’.
Murray is reunited with Dan Biggar at half-back at Cape Town Stadium in a combination that was last seen in the 28-10 victory over Japan that launched the tour in Edinburgh last month. Murray played 29 minutes as a replacement against the Sharks at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday in his second appearance of the tour, his afternoon cut short by a yellow card for killing the ball.
There are only three survivors from the XV that overwhelmed the team from Natal, with Biggar, Anthony Watson and Chris Harris retaining their places. Watson makes successive starts and switches from wing to full-back to form a back three with Welsh duo Louis Rees-Zammit and Josh Adams. Harris moves from inside to outside centre, with Bundee Aki taking the No 12 jersey.
Warren Gatland has opted for a back row of Josh Navidi, Tom Curry and Taulupe Faletau as the Lions await their toughest test of the tour having amassed a total of 181 points in three games against provincial opposition.
Lions XV: 15. Anthony Watson, 14. Louis Rees-Zammit, 13. Chris Harris, 12. Bundee Aki, 11. Josh Adams, 10. Dan Biggar, 9. Conor Murray (C); 1. Wyn Jones, 2. Ken Owens, 3. Kyle Sinckler, 4. Maro Itoje, 5. Iain Henderson, 6. Josh Navidi, 7. Tom Curry, 8. Taulupe Faletau.
Replacements: 16. Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17. Mako Vunipola, 18. Zander Fagerson, 19. Adam Beard, 20. Tadhg Beirne, 21. Sam Simmonds, 22. Gareth Davies, 23. Elliot Daly.
South Africa ‘A’ XV: 15. Willie le Roux, 14. Cheslin Kolbe, 13. Lukhanyo Am (C), 12. Damian de Allende, 11. Sbu Nkosi, 10. Morne Steyn, 9. Faf de Klerk; 1. Steven Kitshoff, 2. Joseph Dweba, 3. Trevor Nyakane, 4. Eben Etzebeth, 5. Franco Mostert, 6. Marco van Staden, 7. Pieter-Steph du Toit, 8. Jasper Wiese.
Replacements: 16. Malcolm Marx, 17. Coenie Oosthuizen, 18. Vincent Koch, 19. Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg, 20. Rynhardt Elstadt, 21. Herschel Jantjies, 22. Jesse Kriel, 23. Damian Willemse, 24. Kwagga Smith, 25. Elton Jantjies.
South Africa ‘A’: 13/10