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Sport Gatland wants bolder, faster Lions in Springboks series decider

20:14  07 august  2021
20:14  07 august  2021 Source:   afp.com

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Head coach Warren Gatland is hoping for a bolder, faster showing from his British and Irish Lions on Saturday when they face world champions South Africa in the series-deciding third Test in Cape Town (1600 GMT).

Warren Gatland standing in a field: British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland watches a training session in Cape Town on the eve of the third Test against South Africa © RODGER BOSCH British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland watches a training session in Cape Town on the eve of the third Test against South Africa

"Let us hope we don't have that niggly stuff that spoilt the second Test," he said, referring to a stoppage-saturated match won 27-9 by the Springboks last weekend.

"I want to see a high-tempo game of attractive rugby," he said in a TV interview less than an hour before the kick-off.

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  Open thread: Which Lions player could be a surprise cut? Could we see some big names miss the team?With so many changes to the team, nearly every position has competition, whether for the starting role or for a depth spot. We will likely see some surprises make the roster and some surprises miss the roster. In 2020, the Lions decided to cut fifth round pick Jason Huntley, a shock to many. Linebacker Elijah Lee made the initial roster despite the minimal fanfare during camp. The Lions new coaching staff also means there’s no loyalty towards players from the previous regime.

Gatland said the losses of scrum-half Faf de Klerk and flanker Pieter-Steph du Toit, who were injured in the second match, will be blows to South Africa.

"Faf and Pieter-Steph are significant players, but the Springboks do have incredible strength in depth," said the New Zealand-born coach.

South Africa have won eight of the previous 13 series in a 130-year rivalry, the Lions four and the one in 1955 was drawn.

Teams (15-1)

South Africa: Willie le Roux; Cheslin Kolbe, Lukhanyo Am, Damian de Allende, Makazole Mapimpi; Handre Pollard, Cobus Reinach; Jasper Wiese, Franco Mostert, Siya Kolisi (capt); Lood de Jager, Eben Etzebeth; Frans Malherbe, Bongi Mbonambi, Steven Kitshoff

Replacements: Malcolm Marx, Trevor Nyakane, Vincent Koch, Marco van Staden, Kwagga Smith, Herschel Jantjies, Morne Steyn, Damian Willemse

Coach: Jacques Nienaber (RSA)

British and Irish Lions: Liam Williams; Josh Adams, Robbie Henshaw, Bundee Aki, Duhan van der Merwe; Dan Biggar, Ali Price; Jack Conan, Tom Curry, Courtney Lawes; Alun Wyn Jones (capt), Maro Itoje; Tadhg Furlong, Ken Owens, Wyn Jones

Replacements: Luke Cowan-Dickie, Mako Vunipola, Kyle Sinckler, Adam Beard, Sam Simmonds, Conor Murray, Finn Russell, Elliot Daly

Coach: Warren Gatland (NZL)

Referee: Mathieu Raynal (FRA)

Assistant referees: Nic Berry (AUS), Ben O'Keeffe (NZL)

TV match official: Marius Jonker (RSA)

dl/dmc

Springboks set to replace All Blacks as Rugby Championship leaders .
Siya Kolisi-led world champions South Africa are poised to replace New Zealand as Rugby Championship leaders on Saturday by defeating Argentina for a second time in eight days. "While we were pleased with the victory and starting our Rugby Championship campaign on a winning note, there is a lot of room for improvement," admits South Africa head coach Jacques Nienaber. "We have identified a few areas we need to work on if we want to defend our title successfully, and we worked on those aspects of our game at training this week."Argentina will come hard at us, so we know we need to perform much better than last weekend to get the desired result.

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