TEAM NEWS: South Africa team for the first Test against the Lions named
PA - Steve Haag
The South Africa team for the first Test match against the British and Irish Lions has been named with the series starting on Saturday.
Faf De Klerk of Sale Sharks is the only person in the starting 15 to play their domestic rugby in England as the World Champions take on the best of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. The hosts will be captained by Siya Kolisi in Saturday’s match in Cape Town. He is back after 10 days in isolation, having been one of 14 squad members to return a positive Covid-19 test.
21 of the 23 players in the squad were part of South Africa’s World Cup winning side when they overcame England in the final back in 2019.
South Africa team to face the British and Irish Lions on Saturday, July 24 in Cape Town:
W Le Roux (Toyota Verblitz); C Kolbe (Toulouse), L Am (Cell C Sharks), D De Allende (Munster), M Mapimpi (Cell C Sharks); H Pollard (Montpellier), F De Klerk (Sale); O Nche (Cell C Sharks), B Mbonambi (DHL Stormers), T Nyakane (Vodacom Bulls), E Etzebeth (Toulon), F Mostert (Honda Heat), S Kolisi (Cell C Sharks, capt), P Du Toit (DHL Stormers), K Smith (Yamaha Jubilo).
Replacements: M Marx (Kubota Spears), S Kitshoff (DHL Stormers), F Malherbe (DHL Stormers), L De Jager (Sale), R Elstadt (Toulouse), H Jantjies (DHL Stormers), E Jantjies (Pau), D Willemse (DHL Stormers).
‘Petrol on the fire’
Meanwhile, South Africa’s hooker Bongi Mbonambi has said accusations that South Africa are underdone for the first Test against the British and Irish Lions will only “throw more petrol on the fire” that is burning within the Springboks camp.
“The people out there saying we’re underdone, all it will do is throw more petrol on the fire that is burning,” he said.
“We’ll see what happens on Saturday. The whole team is looking forward to it. We are at a bit of a disadvantage when it comes to top-tier international game-time. It’s one of the realities of Covid, but we’ve been working hard on and off the field, analysing the Lions and doing as much as we can to be prepared.”
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