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Siya Kolisi, Handre Pollard, Makazole Mapimpi to start for Springboks against British and Irish Lions |  Rugby Union News


The Springboks name the squad to face the British and Irish Lions in the first test: skipper Siya Kolisi, opening half Handre Pollard, wing Makazole Mapimpi, hooker Bongi Mbonambi, loose header Ox Nche all start despite the positive results of Covid-19 and the self-isolations in recent weeks; Kwagga Smith starts at # 8.

Last update: 07/20/21 12:35 p.m.

Siya Kolisi overcame Covid-19 and was deemed fit enough to start against British and Irish Lions

Siya Kolisi will captain the Springboks against the British and Irish Lions on Saturday, putting an end to doubts that he would not be available due to Covid-19.

Kolisi was one of many Springboks players to test positive for Covid-19 in recent weeks, and not to play for South Africa ‘A’ against the Lions or Bulls, and barely trained, many thought he was going to be missed.

Premier Springbok opener Handre Pollard is another to start after a period of isolation, as is wing Makazole Mapimpi – who, like Kolisi, was likely to miss the first test.

Siya Kolisi, Handre Pollard, Makazole Mapimpi to start for Springboks against British and Irish Lions |  Rugby Union News

Opening half Handre Pollard is another critical Springboks artist who has been declared fit to play.

Elsewhere on the side, hooker Bongi Mbonambi and cowardly Ox Nche – who will only win his third test pick – are two other players who have tested positive for Covid before, but start in the XV.

Experienced full-back Willie le Roux overcame a hamstring injury to start, while sensational Toulouse winger Cheslin Kolbe completes the final three alongside Mapimpi. Damien de Allende and Lukanyo Am combine at center to complete an all-rugby World Cup winners’ baseline.

Sale Sharks scrum-half Faf de Klerk joins Pollard (who will win his 50th cap) as half-back.

Siya Kolisi, Handre Pollard, Makazole Mapimpi to start for Springboks against British and Irish Lions |  Rugby Union News

Kolisi as well as Springbok head coach Jacques Nienaber (left) and many others have been affected by Covid-19 in the camp

On the attacking side, the pillar Trevor Nyakane starts in front of the stubborn Saracens Vincent Koch to complete the first row with Mbonami and Nche, while Eben Etzebeth and Franco Mostert start in the second row.

Kolisi is joined by 2019 World Player of the Year Pieter-Steph du Toit (blindside) and Kwagga Smith (No.8) in the back row as Duane Vermeulen remains out with an ankle injury.

Leicester Tigers No 8 Japser Wiese, who has impressed this summer so far, was not part of the squad as the back line suffered a blow to the ankle while playing for South Africa ‘A’ against the Bulls.

Siya Kolisi, Handre Pollard, Makazole Mapimpi to start for Springboks against British and Irish Lions |  Rugby Union News

In the absence of Duane Vermeulen due to injury, Kwagga Smith will start at No.8

Among the Springboks substitutes, World Cup winners Steven Kitshoff (loose head), Malcom Marx (hooker) and Frans Malherbe (tight head) provide exceptional strength at depth.

Jager’s Sale Sharks Lood lock provides second row coverage, while Toulouse’s Rynhardt Elstadt is the back row replacement.

Springboks’ coaching duo Rassie Erasmus and Jacques Nienaber did not go for their usual 6-2 split between forwards and backs on the bench, sticking to the conventional 5-3 split instead.

Herschel Jantjies provides scrum half cover, Elton Jantjies fly half cover and Damian Willemse back three cover.

The Springboks team will face the British and Irish Lions for the first test in Cape Town:

South Africa: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk; 1 Ox Nche, Bongi Mbonambi, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 5 Franco Mostert, Siya Kolisi (c), 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 8 Kwagga Smith.

Substitutes: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Lood de Jager, 20 Rynhardt Elstadt, 21 Herschel Jantjies, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Damian Willemse.

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