Sport Gatland wants bolder, faster Lions in Springboks series decider
Rugby pundit sacked for 'Oompa Loompa' comment about Lions star Smith
Former Ireland international Neil Francis was sacked from his role as a newspaper rugby pundit on Friday after making an apparently racist remark about British and Irish Lions fly-half Marcus Smith who he described as having an "Oompa Loompa tan". Discussing the prospects of Harlequins stand-off Smith, who is of mixed British and Filipino heritage, playing in the upcoming Test series against South Africa, Francis told the Irish Independent'sDiscussing the prospects of Harlequins stand-off Smith, who is of mixed British and Filipino heritage, playing in the upcoming Test series against South Africa, Francis told the Irish Independent's 'The Left Wing' podcast: "A Harlequins out-half with a David Beckham haircut a
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).
"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.
Gatland says he 'did not take too much notice' of Erasmus video
British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland said he "did not take too much notice" of the Rassie Erasmus video that dominated the build-up to the second Test against South Africa in Cape Town on Saturday. If the Lions triumph they will seal a fifth series victory in 14 tours of South Africa, and render the final Test in Cape Town next Saturday a dead rubber. The Springboks have won eight series since the rivalry began in the 1890s and one was drawn.
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.
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)
Nienaber says South Africa ready to host Covid-hit Championship .
Springboks coach Jacques Nienaber said on Saturday he would welcome the rest of the coronavirus-hit Rugby Championship being played in South Africa. New Zealand have also said they cannot host either Argentina or South Africa, both of whom were due to play there twice. "It would be good for our country," said Nienaber. "We just came through a British and Irish Lions series."South Africa showed that in a pandemic they can host a tournament that is the next biggest thing to a World Cup."South Africa is ready. We've got the protocols in place and we've got everything lined up.