Lions v Sigma Lions: Preview, Betting, And Lineups

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The British and Irish Lions start their tour of South Africa on Saturday against the Sigma Lions in Johannesburg.

The game will be shown live on Sky Sports and kick-off will be at 5 pm British Standard Time.

Warren Gatland and his selectors have made 14 changes to their Lions starting lineup with Josh Adams being the only survivor from the game against Japan.

Eight players are set to make their debuts for the side at Ellis Park – Luke Cowan-Dickie, Gareth Davies, Zander Fagerson, Chris Harris, Jonny Hill, Louis Rees-Zammit, Sam Simmonds and Hamish Watson.

Stuart Hogg will captain the team after joining up with the side following Exeter Chiefs’ loss to Harlequins in the Gallagher Premiership final.

Scotland fans will also get to see the duo of Ali Price and Finn Russell play alongside each other in the famous red shirt.

Ireland fans will have to wait until Gatland taps into the wealth of talent on the bench to see an Irish player.

The side they will face – their namesake Sigma Lions – will want to put on a show to welcome the British and Irish Lions to South Africa after 12 years away.

The Lions, who were called the Emirates Lions at the start of the week, were the opponents in the British and Irish Lions’ second game on the 2009 tour.

Their 2021 team will be hoping to do much better than the 74-10 drubbing that side received.

Willem Alberts, who played in that fixture, is unavailable for the side due to injury.

Their Pro14 Rainbow Cup South Africa campaign ended without a win after their last game was cancelled because of a COVID scare.

A poor Super Rugby Unlocked campaign in 2020 was a sign of things to come as they finished below Pro14 castaways Cheetahs.

Their side will be without anyone called up to the South Africa squad, including star player Elton Jantjies.

Warren Gatland’s side is heavily favoured in this matchup.

Betting

British and Irish Lions 1/25

Draw 70/1

Sigma Lions 13/1

Predicted Lineups

British and Irish Lions:

Stuart Hogg (captain); Louis Rees-Zammit, Chris Harris, Owen Farrell, Josh Adams; Finn Russell, Ali Price; Wyn Jones, Jamie George, Kyle Sinckler, Maro Itoje, Jonny Hill, Courtney Lawes, Hamish Watson, Taulupe Faletau.

Replacements: Luke Cowan-Dickie, Mako Vunipola, Zander Fagerson, Iain Henderson, Sam Simmonds, Gareth Davies, Bundee Aki, Elliot Daly.

Sigma Lions: EW Viljoen; Jamba Ulengo, Manuel Rass, Burger Odendaal, Rabz Maxwane; Jordan Hendrikse, Dillon Smit; Nathan McBeth, PJ Botha, Ruan Dreyer, Ruben Schoeman, Reinhard Nothnagel, Sbusiso Sangweni, Vincent Tshituka, Francke Horn (captain).

Replacements: Jaco Visagie, Sti Sithole, Carlu Sadie, Ruhan Straeuli, Emmanuel Tshituka, Morne van den Berg, Fred Zeilinga, Dan Kriel.

 

 

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