Related video: Warren Gatland on Alun Wyn Jones’ possible return to Lions duty

The British and Irish Lions face a South Africa ‘A’ side on Wednesday evening as a real test of their credentials.

Wins over Japan and Sigma Lions began the Tour, before Warren Gatland’s side produced back-to-back victories over Cell C Sharks last week. Coming up from 24 July will be three successive Test matches against the Springboks, which makes this fixture all the more enticing and important – a number of that side will feature here for South Africa A. Gatland feels that strength of opposition will be a big positive, saying: “They’ve gone as strong as they possibly can given that they still have some players unavailable. It’s going to be a good test for us. It helps our preparation immensely.”

Alun Wyn Jones has made a faster-than-expected recovery from a shoulder injury and will rejoin the squad for the Tour – but not until Thursday, meaning he won’t be involved in this game. Flanker Tom Curry and Wales wing Louis Rees-Zammit are among those hoping to push their claims against South Africa ‘A’ as they look to earn a regular spot for the Lions. Follow all the live updates from the British and Irish Lions vs South Africa A here:


South Africa A 10-3 Lions, 31 minutes

Morne Steyn is going to the boot virtually every time he gets the ball, but is varying his kick-type cleverly to ask different questions of the Lions backfield defence, this time a jabbed nine-iron that pitches and checks in space, though the Lions just about gather and clear.

Harry Latham-Coyle14 July 2021 19:37


South Africa A 10-3 Lions, 29 minutes

Tom Curry has largely been engaged in breakdown nitty-gritty so far but there’s a first sighter of the flanker in slightly more open pasture, a lovely tip-on pass of the line from Maro Itoje setting him free, and Curry showing impressive acceleration to get away from a pair of chasing South Africans.

Lukhanyo Am brilliantly turns him over, though, to end the attack. Fast and loose at the breakdown in this first half-hour.

Harry Latham-Coyle14 July 2021 19:35


PENALTY! South Africa A 10-3 LIONS (Owen Farrell penalty, 28 minutes)

A very similar first attempt for Owen Farrell as to the penalty Morne Steyn knocked over earlier, and the fly-half makes no error. The Lions are on the board.

Harry Latham-Coyle14 July 2021 19:33


South Africa A 10-0 Lions, 26 minutes

South Africa A are forced into difficult in coffin corner deep in their own territory on the left, Willie Le Roux hooking an improvised clearance away, but straight to Elliot Daly a yard over the touchline.

Daly flings a pass infield and Taulupe Faletau bursts away on an angled run, eventually dragged down inside the South African 22. A South Africa A player fails to roll away at a ruck – a penalty to the Lions and this time they’ll look to get their scoring started.

Harry Latham-Coyle14 July 2021 19:32


South Africa A 10-0 Lions, 25 minutes

This is a very street wise South African side, few more so than Faf de Klerk, one of the game’s great pests at his best but just the wrong side of the line as he eases a chasing Lions player out of the way as the ball is again sent skywards. A penalty against him and attacking lineout ball for the Lions.

Harry Latham-Coyle14 July 2021 19:30


South Africa A 10-0 Lions, 24 minutes

Slaps on the back for the front row – the Lions have the penalty! The South Africans aren’t keen to play, trying to make an emphatic statement at the scrum, and the ball is left in second row purgatory with Joseph Dweba’s hook not quite sufficiently strong.

Jasper Wiese is of no mind to pluck it from there as he lends his weight to the push, but when the scrum eventually goes to floor, Trevor Nyakane is the man picked out as the cause. The Lions survive.

Harry Latham-Coyle14 July 2021 19:29


South Africa A 10-0 Lions, 22 minutes

This time the Lions get their defence spot-on, and they do superbly to harrass Faf de Klerk just as he looks to put a forward through a gap around the corner. South Africa just about cling on to the ball.

Willie Le Roux inserts himself as a ball-handler, as is his wont in this part of the field, and shifts it on quickly to give Cheslin Kolbe best opportunity to capitalise on what space there might be to the outside. There is but a phone box, but that’s often enough for Kolbe, and if not for a clever little combined arm-and-leg trip from Louis Rees-Zammit the South African might have got over.

The ball springs free at the breakdown but it is a Lions knock-on. A scrum for Sotuh Africa about seven metres in from the right touchline, five metres from the try line…

Harry Latham-Coyle14 July 2021 19:27


South Africa A 10-0 Lions, 20 minutes

This is becoming a proper statement of a first quarter from this South Africa ‘A’ side. Their maul is not stalled, set up perfectly with Faf de Klerk barking orders and Joseph Dweba guiding it, and the Lions are forced to again infringe to prevent it making further progress towards their line.

Captain Lukhanyo Am points to the corner, and Morne Steyn gives his forwards another chance to set up a rumble.

Harry Latham-Coyle14 July 2021 19:24


South Africa A 10-0 Lions, 19 minutes

As stable as one could imagine at the scrum with neither side giving even an inch. South Africa A’s tactics are clear, and to the boot again goes Morne Steyn, forcing Elliot Daly to scramble across to his left.

Daly ships the ball on to Louis Rees-Zammit as a fine outside chase from the South Africans forces some quick handling, and that’s another bad moment for Warren Gatland’s team – sliced into touch on the full. South Africa A will have the throw in strong attacking position.

Harry Latham-Coyle14 July 2021 19:23


South Africa A 10-0 Lions, 16 minutes

Not the wisest meander from Louis Rees-Zammit, running into the great dam that is Pieter-Steph du Toit as he twists and turns his way across field, cut in half comprehensively by the blindside and ending any possibility of a circuitous counter-attacking charge.

The Lions compete well in the air and earn another breakdown penalty (the ruck has been rather messy so far) but keep having more loose moments: touch missed from the penalty, and the ball hops dead to give South Africa a scrum near midfield.

Liam Wiliams has been forced off, by the way, possibly for an HIA. Elliot Daly is patrolling the backfield as South Africa take the scrum option after another set-piece free-kick.

Harry Latham-Coyle14 July 2021 19:20

Source: The Independent

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