CAPE TOWN (Reuters) – A strong South Africa A team has been named to take on the British & Irish Lions in Cape Town on Wednesday as the Springboks seek to accelerate their readiness for the three-test series, which starts next weekend,
The side includes 18 players from the World Cup winning squad two years ago and five who started the Springboks’ warm-up test against Georgia earlier this month and is a dress rehearsal for the tests.
Also in the side is veteran flyhalf Morne Steyn, who played against the Lions 12 years ago, and the team is captained by Lukanyo Am.
South Africa spent the last week in self isolation after an outbreak of COVID cases and had to cancel the second of two warm-up tests against Georgia. They only resumed training on Sunday although are still without several players who are still self-isolating.
“We’re pleased to be able to name a quality team with a number of experienced players despite the challenges in the last week, which included the entire squad being confined to their rooms as part of the team’s preventative self-isolation measures,” said coach Jacques Nienaber in a statement.
Nienaber will not be at the game, however, as he recovers from an COVID-19 infection.
15-Willie le Roux, 14-Cheslin Kolbe, 13-Lukhanyo Am (capt), 12-Damian de Allende, 11–S’bu Nkosi, 10-Mornée Steyn, 9-Faf de Klerk, 8-Jasper Wiese, 7-Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6-Marco van Staden, 5-Franco Mostert, 4-Eben Etzebeth, 3-Trevor Nyakane, 2-Joseph Dweba, 1-Steven Kitshoff
Replacements: 16-Malcolm Marx, 17-Coenie Oosthuizen, 18-Vincent Koch, 19-Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg, 20-Rynhardt Elstadt, 21-Herschel Jantjies, 22-Jesse Kriel, 23-Damian Willemse, 24-Kwagga Smith, 25-Elton Jantjies.
(Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Christian Radnedge)