South Africa Announce Side For 1st Lions Test

South Africa Rugby

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South Africa have announced their side to face the British and Irish Lions in the first of a three-test series this Saturday.

The game will take place at the Cape Town Stadium in Cape Town and will kick-off at 5 pm.

Flanker Siya Kolisi will captain the side in their first third consecutive Lions series as world champions.

Ox Nche earns the starting loosehead spot vacated by Tendai ‘The Beast’ Mtawarira following his retirement after South Africa’s 2019 Rugby World Cup win.

Bongi Mbonambi and Trevor Nyakane, who both sustained injuries during that world cup run, start alongside Nche in the front row.

Eben Etzebeth is paired with Franco Mostert in the second row, a man who was an important rotation in the world cup.

Kolisi is joined by 2019 World Player of the Year Pieter-Steph Du Toit and Kwagga Smith in the back row.

Maverick scrum-half Faf de Klerk will wear the number nine shirt this weekend with Handre Pollard deemed to be fit enough to play alongside him at fly-half.

Pollard will earn his 50th cap against the Lions.

Damian De Allende and Lukhanyo Am offer a strong centre partnership while Makazole Mapimpi and Cheslin will provide devasting pace on the flanks.

Full-back Willie Le Roux will round off the back three in the number 15 shirt.

The bench sees the Springboks change from a 6-2 split to a 5-3 split with Herschel Jantjies, Elton Jantjies and Damian Willemse being the backs on the bench.

The game will be shown live on Sky Sports.

South Africa v Lions 1st Test 2021

15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk; 1 Ox Nche, Bongi Mbonambi, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 5 Franco Mostert, Siya Kolisi (c), 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 8 Kwagga Smith.

Replacements: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Lood de Jager, 20 Rynhardt Elstadt, 21 Herschel Jantjies, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Damian Willemse.

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