The British and Irish Lions face world champions South Africa in the first test of their summer tour this weekend.
The Lions won five of their six warm-up games leading up to the successful three-test series against the Springboks.
Warren Gatland’s men lost 17-13 to a South African A team last week before rebounding with a fine victory against the Stormers.
Now the action is getting serious this summer with the Lions looking to take an early lead in the tests.
The two teams will face off in Cape Town this weekend before the final two tests take place in Johannesburg on the following Saturdays.
South Africa, who beat the Lions 2-1 in the last series in 2009, are the reigning world champions after beating England in the World Cup final in 2019.
Several English players in this match will face Jacques Nienaber’s men this weekend and seek revenge.
talkSPORT will bring you full Test Series coverage this summer as the Lions look to bring home the glory.
South Africa v The Lions: How to Listen
The final will take place on Saturday July 24 at 5 p.m.
Full coverage of Cape Town Stadium will be streamed live on talkSPORT, with our pre-match preparation starting at 4pm.
Craig Doyle will be your host and comments will come from Andrew McKenna and James Haskell.
We’ll also have expert analysis from former Lions Ben Kay and Tommy Bowe.
To connect, click on the radio player below or HERE for the live stream.
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South Africa v The Lions: The teams
The Lions are expected to name their team to face South Africa on Thursday.
They started preparations for Saturday’s test with only Finn Russell ruled out due to his Achilles tendon injury.
Liam Williams has completed return-to-play protocols for a concussion, putting him in the running to start.
The Springboks named their team on Tuesday.
First line: W Le Roux (Toyota Verblitz), C Kolbe (Toulouse), L Am (Cell C Sharks), D De Allende (Munster), M Mapimpi (Cell C Sharks), H Pollard (Montpellier), F De Klerk (Sales), O Nche (Cell C Sharks), B Mbonambi (DHL Stormers), T Nyakane (Vodacom Bulls), E Etzebeth (Toulon), F Mostert (Honda Heat), S Kolisi (Cell C Sharks, capt), P Du Toit (DHL Stormers), K Smith (Yamaha Jubilo).
Substitutes: M Marx (Kubota Spears), S Kitshoff (DHL Stormers), F Malherbe (DHL Stormers), L De Jager (Sales), R Elstadt (Toulouse), H Jantjies (DHL Stormers), E Jantjies (Pau), D Willemse ( DHL Stormers).
South Africa vs Lions: what was said?
Lions mainstay Tadhg Furlong: “It’s big boy rugby, on a big stage. You can feel it everywhere. It matters a lot – rugby players in general live up to these opportunities, with this internal desire to do well.
“It’s nervous. Everyone is a little on the alert. We’re now in the thick of the tour and it means a lot to people, so everyone is just waiting to see how it goes – whether you’re in or out of the squad.
“It means a lot to me, not to talk about it personally, but I have been through a difficult year with injuries and so on.
“But there was always a light at the end of the tunnel where you’re trying to go on a Lions tour and do something special with this group of players.”
Lions winger Anthony Watson: “The importance of the kicking game was huge in this World Cup final. We came out second behind them. They have definitely dominated us in this area.
“They got a lot of momentum going and got a great field position in this region, which gave them the lead they needed.
“And like in Game A for South Africa last week as well as the World Cup final, the start was huge.
“We didn’t put ourselves in a good position in either of those two games so we found ourselves trying to get our way through the game which is a lot harder against a team like South Africa.
“It’s important to get a good start, 100 percent against these guys. And it’s all on a smaller scale if you watch the whole series – how important it is to get off to a good start, not just in the game but in the series. “
Live and exclusive talkSPORT coverage of the British & Irish Lions’ Tour in South Africa continues on Saturday with the 1st test against world champions Springboks. Coverage with Craig Doyle and former Lions Ben Kay, James Haskell and Tommy Bowe begins at 4 p.m. ET.
Before that, don’t miss the Lions Daily on talkSPORT 2 each day from 5:00 p.m. and on Fridays a special test preview on talkSPORT at 7:00 p.m. featuring legendary Lions coach Sir Ian McGeechan and World Cup winner Bryan Habana.
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