After following a 22-17 opening comeback win with a tough, ill-tempered 27-9 loss last weekend, we are all set up for a huge, winner-takes-all showdown at Cape Town Stadium as a controversial series both on and off the pitch draws to a dramatic close.
The Lions have not triumphed in South Africa since 1997, while they have won only four of the previous 13 series in the country.
Victory today would cement Warren Gatland position among the true coaching greats, with the New Zealander having previously led the tourists to victory in Australia and a hard-fought series draw against New Zealand.
Gatland has made six changes to his team in a bid to counter South Africa’s familiar gameplan of brutal physicality and aerial bombardments, with Wyn Jones, Ken Owens, Ali Price, Bundee Aki, Liam Williams and Josh Adams all coming into the starting XV.
Follow the Lions vs South Africa Third Test LIVE with Standard Sport’s blog below…
Lions team news
England pair Luke Cowan-Dickie and Mako Vunipola both drop to the bench alongside Conor Murray, while the likes of Chris Harris, Stuart Hogg and Anthony Watson are dropped from the matchday squad altogether.
The likes of Adam Beard and Sam Simmonds are preferred as replacements instead, with Scotland’s maverick fly-half Finn Russell also in reserve with the likes of Owen Farrell and Taulupe Faletau also missing out.
Could Russell have a key role to play this evening as the Lions look to massively up their creativity and try-scoring chances to avoid getting sucked into another attritional war?
Lions team news: Six changes for decider
South Africa perfectly executed a familiar gameplan involving a relentless aerial bombardment and harsh physicality to ease clear in the second half of last weekend’s important Second Test.
To combat that today, Lions coach Warren Gatland has made six changes to his starting XV.
Welsh duo Wyn Jones and Ken Owens come into the front row, with Ali Price back at scrum-half and Bundee Aki joining Robbie Henshaw in an all-Irish midfield pairing.
There are also two changes to the back three after those well-documented struggles under the high ball, with Josh Adams – the top try-scorer of the tour – and Liam Williams both coming in.
How to watch
Live coverage is available via Sky Sports Main Event (from 4pm) and Sky Sports Action (from 3:30pm), with highlights being broadcast free-to-air on Channel 4 at 10:30pm on Saturday evening.
Date, kick-off time and venue
The all-important Third Test between South Africa and the British and Irish Lions takes place today – Saturday, August 7, 2021 – with kick-off at 5pm BST.
After the opening Test in Cape Town, the final two matches of the series were due to take place in Johannesburg.
However, concerns over the spread of the Delta variant of Covid-19 in the Gauteng region of South Africa led the entire series to be moved to the Cape Town Stadium – a football ground where the pitch has been notably churned up in both Tests so far.
Welcome to Lions vs South Africa LIVE coverage
Hello and welcome to Standard Sport’s latest LIVE coverage of the British and Irish Lions in South Africa!
Today promises to be a huge occasion as a controversial series both on and off the field comes to what is sure to be a dramatic conclusion in a winner-takes-all Third Test at Cape Town Stadium.
Stay tuned for all the match build-up, team news and latest updates!