South Africa A vs British & Irish Lions Predictions
The British & Irish Lions face their first real test in this encounter. Considering how much more game-time they’ve had, I am backing the tourists to win by 1-12 points
- South Africa A have selected 18 World Cup winners.
- British & Irish Lions have won their last 4 matches.
Head to Head
This is the first meeting between the two sides.
South Africa A Form
The South Africa A have not played any recent matches. In fact, it isn’t an official team but rather one put together in order to fulfill a competitive warm-up game for touring sides.
The Springboks 2nd Test against Georgia was called off last week due to COVID infections. That has forced the hand of management to get game time into players in this match.
While the coaches would have preferred playing fringe Springbok players in this fixture, they have opted to pick a shadow South Africa side with many of the players expected to start the 1st Test against the British & Irish Lions.
South Africa A Injuries & Team News
Due to the lack of game-time the South African national team has had, they have selected close to a proper Springbok side. 18 players within the South Africa ‘A’ squad were part of the side that won the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
Lukhanyo Am will captain the side from outside centre. Willie le Roux, Cheslin Kolbe, Am and Faf de Klerk all started the World Cup final in 2019 and start here.
In the forward pack there are further World Cup winners. Pieter-Steph du Toit and Eben Etzebeth both started the final while Franco Mostert and Steven Kitzhoff came off the bench.
South Africa A Squad
15. Willie le Roux, 14. Cheslin Kolbe, 13. Lukhanyo Am, 12. Damian de Allende, 11. Sbu Nkosi, 10. Morne Steyn, 9. Faf de Klerk, 8. Jasper Wiese, 7. Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6. Marco van Staden, 5. Franco Mostert, 4. Eben Etzebeth, 3. Trevor Nyakane, 2. Joseph Dweba, 1. Steven Kitzhoff.
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.
British & Irish Lions Form
The British & Irish Lions have been superb on their tour thus far but there will still be concern for the coaching staff. Those concerns will mainly revolve around the quality of teams faced, but this fixture should offer them some answers.
The Lions beat Japan 28-10 before the tour began. They then won their first tour match against the South African Lions 56-14.
Since that match the B+I Lions have played the Sharks franchise twice. They won the first match 54-7 and the second one 71-31.
The latter result will bring more concerns to Warren Gatland. At half-time it was 31-31 but the Sharks received a second half red card before the tourists ran away with it.
British & Irish Lions Injuries & Team News
Warren Gatland has made 12 changes to the side that featured against the Sharks on Saturday. Dan Biggar is retained at flyhalf and links up with Conor Murray at scrumhalf. Murray will captain the side.
The other two players retained are winger Anthony Watson and Chris Harris.
Josh Adams starts at wing and Bundee Aki will partner Harris at inside centre.
British & Irish Lions Squad
15. Anthony Watson, 14. Louis Rees-Zammit, 13. Chris Harris, 12. Bundee Aki, 11. Josh Adams, 10. Dan Biggar, 9. Conor Murray, 8. Taulupe Faletau, 7. Tom Curry, 6. Josh Navidi, 5. Iain Henderson, 4. Maro Itoje, 3. Kyle Sinckler, 2. Ken Owens, 1. Wyn Jones.
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.