Northampton Saints duo Dan Biggar and Courtney Lawes have retained their places in the British & Irish Lions’ starting XV ahead of the second Test match against South Africa.
Warren Gatland this morning named his side for the next showdown against the World Champion Springboks, after the tourists fought back to claim a stunning 22-17 win in the first match of three in the series on Saturday.
Biggar landed 14 of the Lions’ points from the kicking tee in Cape Town, with Lawes also really catching the eye as he delivered a standout performance with eight carries and nine tackles to his name.
Historically, the Lions have lost just two series after winning the first Test (against New Zealand in 1930 and Australia in 2001), and Gatland has stuck largely with the winning formula with only three changes to his starting XV – Conor Murray, Chris Harris and Mako Vunipola coming in to the line-up.
Biggar will play fly-half subject to completing the return-to-play protocol and assessment by an independent concussion consultant, while Lawes remains on the blindside flank.
“As always, selection was incredibly tough,” said 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.”Warren Gatland
“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
Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town
Kick-off: 5pm (BST)
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