Sports : Captains Jones and Kolisi fit to start first Test in Cape Town but big names miss out

sport breaking news

Captains Alun Wyn Jones and Siya Kolisi are fit to lead their sides as the British and Irish Lions take on South Africa this weekend.

The blockbuster three-Test series kicks off in Cape Town this Saturday ahead of three weeks of intense action on the Lions’ summer tour.


Lions captain Alun Wyn Jones is fit to face South Africa in the first Test this weekend

Wales great Jones will lead Warren Gatland’s men into battle just four weeks after dislocating his shoulder.

Full-back Stuart Hogg, wing Duhan van der Merwe, centre Elliot Daly and scrum-half Ali Price have beaten more established rivals to start.

In the forwards, Luke Cowan-Dickie has won the race at hooker while Jack Conan is at number eight.

Owen Farrell and Conor Murray will be on the bench, while veterans of past Lions tours Taulupe Faletau, Mako Vunipola and Jamie George miss out on the 23 altogether.

For South Africa, skipper Kolisi will lead his country having overcome COVID-19.

South Africa captain Siya Kolisi will lead his men against the Lions


South Africa captain Siya Kolisi will lead his men against the Lions

The Sharks flanker was one of 14 Springboks to test positive for coronavirus, forcing him to self-isolate in Johannesburg for 10 days.

Wing Makazole Mapimpi and prop Ox Nche have also been selected to start for the world champions while fly-half Handre Pollard, another of the Springboks who tested positive, will win his 50th cap.

South Africa v The Lions: Confirmed line-ups

South Africa: Le Roux, Kolbe, Am, De Allende, Mapimpi, Pollard, De Klerk, Nche, Mbonambi, Nyakane, Etzebeth, Mostert, Kolisi (capt), Du Toit, Smith.

Replacements: Marx, Kitshoff, Malherbe, De Jager, Elstadt, H Jantjies, E Jantjies, Willemse.

The Lions: Hogg, A Watson, Daly, Henshaw, Van Der Merwe, Biggar, Price, W Jones, Cowan-Dickie, Furlong, Itoje, AW Jones (capt), Lawes, Curry, Conan.

Replacements: Owens, Sutherland, Sinckler, Beirne, H Watson, Murray, Farrell, L Williams.

South Africa v The Lions: How to listen

This first Test will take place at 5pm on Saturday, July 24.

Full coverage from the Cape Town Stadium will be live on talkSPORT, with our pre-match build-up starting at 4pm.

Craig Doyle will be your host and commentary will come from Andrew McKenna and James Haskell.

We’ll also have expert analysis from former Lions Ben Kay and Tommy Bowe.

To tune in, click the radio player below or HERE for the live stream.

Here are the other ways to listen…

App iPhone – Download from the Apple store

Android – Download from Google Play

Radio – talkSPORT is available across the United Kingdom via DAB digital radio and on 1089 or 1053 AM.

TV – Listen to talkSPORT through your TV on the following channels: Sky: Channel 0108 Virgin Media: Channel 927 Freeview: Channel 723 Freesat: Channel 731

Head coaches Rassie Erasmus and Warren Gatland will pit their wits against one another in Cape Town


Head coaches Rassie Erasmus and Warren Gatland will pit their wits against one another in Cape Town

South Africa v The Lions: What has been said?

Warren Gatland: “It’s two fold. You can’t go into match against South Africa without knowing that you have to match their physicality because you can’t allow them dominance.

“Test match rugby is all about the physical battle and that doesn’t change, but it’s also about being smart and when those attacking opportunities come we have got to be able to capitalise on them.

“We are in a great position from a conditioning point of view, so we are not going to fall away. We think as the game goes on we are going to get stronger and stronger.

“We are going to be in an arm wrestle but we are confident we can work through that. You’re not going to get everything your way in a Test match but there are times when you will have some ascendancy and we think we can capitalise on that.”

talkSPORT’s live and exclusive coverage of the British & Irish Lions’ Tour to South Africa continues on Saturday with the 1st Test against the World Champion Springboks. Coverage with Craig Doyle and former Lions Ben Kay, James Haskell and Tommy Bowe begins from 4pm.

Before that though, don’t miss the Lions Daily on talkSPORT 2 each day from 5pm and on Friday a Test preview special on talkSPORT at 7pm including Lions legendary coach Sir Ian McGeechan and World Cup winner Bryan Habana.

We are your home for Lions rugby!

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