The British & Irish Lions take on world champions South Africa in the first Test of their summer tour this weekend.
The Lions won five of their six warm-up games heading into the blockbuster three-Test series against the Springboks.
Warren Gatland’s men lost 17-13 to a South Africa A side last week before bouncing back with a handsome win over the Stormers.
Now, the action gets serious this summer with the Lions looking to take an early lead in the Tests.
The two sides will clash in Cape Town this weekend before the final two Tests take place in Johannesburg over the following Saturdays.
South Africa, who beat the Lions 2-1 in the last series in 2009, are the reigning world champions having beaten England in the World Cup final in 2019.
Several English players from that match will line-up against Jacques Nienaber’s men this weekend and will be out for revenge.
talkSPORT will bring you full coverage of the Test series this summer as the Lions look to bring glory home.
South Africa v The Lions: How to listen
The final will take place at 5pm on Saturday, July 24.
Full coverage from the Cape Town Stadium will be live on talkSPORT, with our pre-match build-up starting 4pm.
Craig Doyle will be your host and commentary will come from Andrew McKenna and James Haskell.
We’ll also have expert analysis from former Lions Ben Kay and Tommy Bowe.
To tune in, click the radio player below or HERE for the live stream.
Here are the other ways to listen…
App iPhone – Download from the Apple store
Android – Download from Google Play
Radio – talkSPORT is available across the United Kingdom via DAB digital radio and on 1089 or 1053 AM.
TV – Listen to talkSPORT through your TV on the following channels: Sky: Channel 0108 Virgin Media: Channel 927 Freeview: Channel 723 Freesat: Channel 731
South Africa v The Lions: The teams
The Lions are expected to name their side to face South Africa on Thursday.
They began preparations for Saturday’s Test with only Finn Russell ruled out because of his Achilles injury.
Liam Williams has completed the return to play protocols for concussion, placing him in contention to start.
The Springboks named their side on Tuesday.
Starting line-up: 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 (Sale), 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).
Replacements: M Marx (Kubota Spears), S Kitshoff (DHL Stormers), F Malherbe (DHL Stormers), L De Jager (Sale), R Elstadt (Toulouse), H Jantjies (DHL Stormers), E Jantjies (Pau), D Willemse (DHL Stormers).
South Africa v The Lions: What has been said?
Lions prop Tadhg Furlong: “It’s big boy rugby, on a big stage. You can feel it around the place. It has a lot of importance on it – rugby players in general rise to these occasions, with that internal want to do well.
“It’s nervous. Everyone’s a little bit on edge. We’re into the nitty-gritty of the tour now and it means a lot to people, so everyone is just waiting to see how it pans out – if you are in or out of the team.
“It means so much to me, not to get personal about it but I have been through a rough year with injury etc.
“But there was always a light at the end of the tunnel where you are trying to get on a Lions tour and to do something special with this group of players.”
Lions winger Anthony Watson: “The importance of the kicking game, that was huge in that World Cup final. We came out second best to them. They definitely dominated us in that area.
“They gained great momentum and gained great field position from that area and that gave them the leg up they needed.
“And similar to the South Africa A game last week as well as the World Cup final, the start was huge.
“We didn’t put ourselves in good positions in either of those two games and therefore found ourselves trying to claw our way back into the game, which is much more difficult against a team like South Africa.
“It’s important to get off to a good start, 100 per cent against these guys. And that’s it on a smaller scale if you look at the entire series – how important it is to get off to a good start, not only in the game but in the series.”
talkSPORT’s live and exclusive coverage of the British & Irish Lions’ Tour to South Africa continues on Saturday with the 1st Test against the World Champion Springboks. Coverage with Craig Doyle and former Lions Ben Kay, James Haskell and Tommy Bowe begins from 4pm.
Before that though, don’t miss the Lions Daily on talkSPORT 2 each day from 5pm and on Friday a Test preview special on talkSPORT at 7pm including Lions legendary coach Sir Ian McGeechan and World Cup winner Bryan Habana.
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