|Venue: Cape City Stadium Dates: Saturday, 24 July Kick-off: 17:00 BST|
|Protection: Observe dwell textual content commentary on the BBC Sport web site and app.|
British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland feels the health and depth of his squad shall be decisive elements within the upcoming Take a look at collection towards South Africa.
Gatland named his group on Wednesday, calling the choice the toughest he has been concerned in as a Lions boss.
He believes competitors in his squad is fiercer than within the Springboks’ camp.
“I wish to suppose we now have a little bit extra depth than the South African squad has in the intervening time,” he stated.
Gatland and his 4 assistants have been locked in a range assembly on Sunday which lasted nearly two hours, with the teaching group solely initially agreeing on 4 gamers within the forwards and three within the backs.
“It is credit score to the gamers – there’s a lot competitors within the squad,” he added.
“There are such a lot of gamers which have made this choice actually tough for us. It makes it onerous, however it’s the place you need it to be.
“In earlier excursions you’ll go into the [selection] assembly and there could be 19 or 20 gamers everybody could be on the identical web page with.
“However this has been utterly totally different. If there are knocks and accidents, we now have the depth within the squad to deal with shedding gamers.”
‘We’re going to get stronger and stronger’
Whereas Gatland has vowed to not attempt to beat the Boks at their very own sport, with the world champions famend for his or her bodily method, he feels the Lions have the gameplan and the health to ask questions of the world champions.
“You may’t go right into a Take a look at match taking part in South Africa with out making an attempt to match their physicality. Take a look at match rugby is all in regards to the bodily battle and that does not change,” he defined.
“However then it is about ensuring you’re sensible and capitalising on probabilities from an attacking perspective.
“After that A sport [last Wednesday’s defeat by South Africa ‘A’], we felt we have been in an amazing place from a conditioning standpoint. The blokes have labored extremely onerous within the pre-tour camp and since we now have been right here.
“So we do not suppose we’re going to fall away. We expect as the sport goes on, we’re going to get stronger and stronger.”
‘Generally you do not have solutions for gamers’
Gatland has left a bunch of gamers with robust Lions pedigree out of the beginning XV, with hooker Jamie George and quantity eight Taulupe Faletau – heroes in New Zealand 4 years in the past – not even making the matchday 23.
In the meantime Conor Murray and Owen Farrell, who each began all three Checks in 2017, must make do with locations on the bench, with Ali Value and Dan Biggar the beginning half-backs.
For Farrell, will probably be the primary time he hasn’t began a sport for England or the Lions when match and obtainable since 2015.
“I had an excellent chat with Owen and he needed to know the place he was; [but] typically you do not have solutions for gamers, you simply determine to go along with a participant since you really feel they’re the suitable participant on the time,” Gatland stated.
“And we felt Dan Biggar was the suitable participant. However the message to Owen was [to use] his expertise off the bench, and to play instinctively. That have for us goes to be essential.
“There was numerous dialogue in regards to the bench, and there are guys who’re going to be dissatisfied they aren’t beginning, and can wish to come on and make an impression, whether or not that’s Conor [Murray], Owen [Farrell] or Liam Williams.
“We really feel these guys can come on and make a distinction.”