After all the agonising waiting, it’s finally here, folks! The Boks up against the Lions in the first test of the year in Durban.
Peter de Villiers has named a side that, although long on experience and containing a number of settled combinations, may nevertheless be short on match practice.
The Lions, on the other hand, have played plenty of rugby over the last few weeks. Ian McGeechan’s test side will be playing as a unit for the first time today, though. Will that prove decisive?
Kick-off in Durban is at 15h00 SA time.
South Africa: 15 Frans Steyn, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Adi Jacobs, 12 Jean de Villiers, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Ruan Pienaar, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8. Pierre Spies, 7 Juan Smith, 6 Heinrich Brüssow, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 John Smit (captain), 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Replacements: 16 Gurthrö Steenkamp, 17 Deon Carstens, 18 Andries Bekker, 19 Danie Rossouw, 20 Ricky Januarie, 21 Jaque Fourie, 22 Morné Steyn
British & Irish Lions: 15 Lee Byrne, 14 Tommy Bowe, 13 Brian O’Driscoll, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Ugo Monye, 10 Stephen Jones, 9 Mike Phillips, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 David Wallace, 6 Tom Croft, 5 Paul O’Connell (captain), 4 Alun-Wyn Jones, 3 Phil Vickery, 2 Lee Mears, 1 Gethin Jenkins.
Replacements: 16 Matthew Rees, 17 Adam Jones, 18 Donncha O’Callaghan, 19 Martyn Williams, 20 Harry Ellis, 21 Ronan O’Gara, 22 Rob Kearney.
Referee: Bryce Lawrence (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Stuart Dickinson, Vinny Munro (New Zealand)
TMO: Christophe Berdos (France)