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British and Irish Lions: Warren Gatland names team for tour of South Africa to face World Champion Springboks |  Rugby news


Follow Thursday’s British and Irish Lions squad announcement live on Sky Sports Mix from 11:45 am or via our live blog; From 6 p.m., attend the Lions special announcement, where Alex Payne will be joined by Warren Gatland and the Lions captain as well as Bryan Habana and Will Greenwood

Last updated: 04/05/21 18:50 pm

This week, Warren Gatland will announce his British and Irish Lions side will face the Springboks on the summer’s eight-game tour of South Africa.

There has been a lot of speculation that the tour will continue, and while we won’t see capacity crowds, we will still be able to watch the best of Britain and Ireland taking on the Cup-winning Springboks. of the world in July and August, live. at Sky Sports.

Will Alun Wyn Jones lead the Lions on his fourth tour? Will there be bolters? Which half butterfly will be missing from the selection? Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Thursday’s big announcement …

British and Irish Lions: Warren Gatland names team for tour of South Africa to face World Champion Springboks |  Rugby news

British and Irish Lions: Warren Gatland names team for tour of South Africa to face World Champion Springboks |  Rugby news 4:04
Gatland is part of his coaching staff for the British and Irish Lions’ tour of South Africa, as well as his thoughts on team and captain selection

Gatland is part of his coaching staff for the British and Irish Lions’ tour of South Africa, as well as his thoughts on team and captain selection

When is the team announced?

Gatland and his coaching staff will unveil the touring 36-man squad on Thursday, as well as who will captain the invitational team as they aim to avenge the 2009 2-1 series loss.

The announcement will be broadcast live on Sky Sports Mix and on Sky Sports’ YouTube channel starts at 11:45 am, but you can also keep up to date with all the news by following our blog live all morning.

Lions Special Announcement

British and Irish Lions: Warren Gatland names team for tour of South Africa to face World Champion Springboks |  Rugby news

Bryan Habana was part of the South African squad that beat the Lions in 2009

There will be a lot of feedback on our live blog and on Sky Sports News throughout the day on Thursday, and at 6 p.m., a special announcement for the Lions will take place on Sky Sports Mix and Sky Sports Arena – as well as our dedicated YouTube channel – where the new Lions captain will join Coach Gatland to share his thoughts on the upcoming tour.

Host Alex Payne will also chat with three-time Lions tourist Will Greenwood, as well as South African legend Bryan Habana, who was part of the team that beat the Lions in 2009.

British and Irish Lions: Warren Gatland names team for tour of South Africa to face World Champion Springboks |  Rugby news

Will Greenwood visited all three countries as a British and Irish Lion

Which players are in contention for the selection?

In the tight five, there is a lot of debate about whether Alun wyn jones should be there. Some point to his leadership qualities after capturing Wales in the 2019 World Cup semi-final and the Six Nations Grand Slam this year, while others say there are second rowers who are currently in better shape.

It is not known if Gatland will seek to use Maro Itoje or a fit Tadhg Beirne in jersey number six to bolster his roster options, or use two flank scavengers to help manage the breakdown against a heavy Springbok back row that will likely include Siya Kolisi, Pieter-Steph du Toit and Duane Vermeulen.

When it comes to tours in South Africa, we always talk about the battle forward, and last month Hamish watson has been at the center of heated social media talk over the suggestion that he’s too small to have an impact against South African attackers. As a player in this year’s Six Nations tournament, he would undoubtedly be at home in a red jersey this summer.

Mid-back, there are questions around the shape of Owen Farrell, although the Saracen man will probably not be missing because of his experience in winning trophies for club and country. Gatland has the option of choosing the English skipper as one of his half-fly options for the tour or as an indoor center.

British and Irish Lions: Warren Gatland names team for tour of South Africa to face World Champion Springboks |  Rugby news

British and Irish Lions: Warren Gatland names team for tour of South Africa to face World Champion Springboks |  Rugby news 0:46
Former Wales and Lions backer Adam Jones says Warren Gatland isn’t afraid to make big calls for Lions tour

Former Wales and Lions backer Adam Jones says Warren Gatland isn’t afraid to make big calls for Lions tour

How the head coach chooses to employ Farrell will also determine whether we’re likely to see Finn russell to be chosen. The Racing 92 playmaker has been in sensational form, and after patching things up with Gregor Townsend, he looks set to spearhead an increasingly threatening Scottish fullback. Dan Biggar and Johnny sexton both hope to be on the plane to Johannesburg in June, but at least one of the three is likely to miss.

All in all, there are a lot of selection headaches for Gatland, especially on the wing. The stars of the past 12 months have been Louis Rees-Zammit and Duhan van der Merwe, while the likes of Anthony watson and Liam williams were part of the series drawn against the All Blacks in 2017 and offer great Lions experience.

Who is likely to be a captain?

British and Irish Lions: Warren Gatland names team for tour of South Africa to face World Champion Springboks |  Rugby news

Skipper of Wales Jones is widely seen as the most likely to lead the Lions, given his existing relationship with Gatland since their time together in Wales.

There is the perception from some corners that someone up front should lead the Lions in South Africa given the physical nature of the battle against Springbok attackers, but back Stuart hogg have led a resurgent Scottish side in recent times and are a strong contender to lead the squad for test matches.

Itoje and Farrell were both asked to do the job. Their chances may have been jeopardized by England’s lackluster Six Nations campaign earlier this year, but both have leadership qualities that could yet see them named by Gatland as the skipper of the tour.

Who do the Lions play?

British and Irish Lions: Warren Gatland names team for tour of South Africa to face World Champion Springboks |  Rugby news

British and Irish Lions: Warren Gatland names team for tour of South Africa to face World Champion Springboks |  Rugby news 0:34
Maro Itoje says he is delighted that the tour is going as planned

Maro Itoje says he is delighted that the tour is going as planned

The Lions will face Japan in Murrayfield on June 26 before heading to South Africa where they will open their tour against the Stormers in Cape Town on July 3.

On July 7, they head to Port Elizabeth to confront South Africa by invitation side, after which they land in Durban to play Kolisi’s new team, the the Sharks, July 10.

South Africa A will then host the Lions at Mbombela on July 14, and three days later Gatland’s side will play their final warm-up match against South Africa’s strongest provincial team, the Bulls.

The first test against Springboks takes place in Johannesburg on July 24, the second in Cape Town on July 31, and on August 7 the two teams return to Johannesburg for a possible decision maker. All matches will be live Sky Sports.

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