How British Lions should line up vs Springboks with Watson, Williams, Lawes and Faletau but no Vunipola or Sinckler

THE WAITING is finally over and the Lions are into their first Test week of the South Africa series.

Boss Warren Gatland and his coaches will spend the next 48 hours agonising over who will start Saturday's crunch opener against The Springboks.

And SunSport have done the same as we reveal our picks for the first game in Cape Town.

15 – Liam Williams (Wales)

A STAR of the 2017 series in New Zealand, Williams has looked lively again out in South Africa.

The Scarlets winger is the best at dealing with the high-ball bombs that Boks fly-half Handre Pollard and no.9 Faf de Klerk are likely to send up.

14 – Anthony Watson (England)

HAS consistently been one of England's best performers and has unfinished business against South Africa after the 2019 World Cup final defeat.

13 – Elliot Daly (England)

WHAT A turnaround from a player who struggled to badly during the Six Nations.

Now back in his favourite position, Daly is showing just how classy a player he is with a superb kicking and running game.

12 – Chris Harris (Scotland)

A BIT of a bolter for this series. . . so what a story this would be.

The Scotland and Gloucester man has really taken his chance. Harris can be the man to take it to Damian de Allende in the beastly Boks midfield.

11 – Josh Adams (Wales)

WITH eight tries to his name and the arrival of his first child last week – Adams is having a memorable tour.

Gatland has already talked of him as being the best finished in the world – now we has to go out there and prove it in a Test series.

10 – Dan Biggar (Wales)

A MID-WEEKER in 2017 – this is now Biggar's time.

The 31-year-old fly-half is playing the best rugby of his career and he is the man to help lead this Lions side to their first win here since 1997.

9 – Ali Price (Scotland)

THE PRICE is the right man to counter livelier Boks no.9 Faf de Klerk.

The English-born star has been the standout scrum-half on tour and is the guy the Lions can look to to deliver quick ball.

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1 – Wyn Jones (Wales)

LOOKED pumped in Wednesday night's close encounter with South Africa 'A'.

A strong scrummager and decent carrier – Jones has just got the edge over Mako Vunipola for the opener.

2 – Luke Cowan-Dickie (England)

MAN-OF-THE-MATCH in the fifth and final warm-up game.

Cowan-Dickie is a one-man tackling, tackling, try-scoring machine that needs to be on the pitch from the off.

3 – Tadhg Furlong (Ireland)

THE LIONS' very own piece of granite in the scrum.

Ireland hero Furlong has also shown neat hands, which will be needed to move South Africa around the park and away from the in-your-face stuff that they love.

4 – Maro Itoje (England)

TALKED about as a Lions captain – but hasn't been given the chance to do that out here.

Itoje was a walking penalty-machine in the Six Nations, but he's sorted his game out will relish the mammoth battle against Eben Etzebeth.

5 – Iain Henderson (Ireland)

CAME so close to the Test side against the All Blacks four years ago before just losing out to Courtney Lawes.

This is finally his year after already captaining the Lions against The Sharks.

6 – Courtney Lawes (England)

THE ONE guy that the South Africans fear the most.

Lawes, 32, hits hard and plays hard – just like the Boks. This is likely his last shot at a Lions series, so expect him to empty the tank.

7 – Tom Curry (England)

A FUTURE Lions and England captain.

Curry was his country's player-of-the-year and continues to break ground the higher he goes. This series could make him England's next poster-boy.

8 – Toby Faletau (Wales)

WHILST he has looked a bit off the pace in the warm-up games, Faletau is a Test-match animal.

Gatland knows him from his Wales days and can trust the no.8 to do the business for him.

SUBS

16. Jamie George (England)

17. Mako Vunipola (England)

18. Kyle Sinckler (England)

19. Alun Wyn Jones (Wales)

20. Tadhg Beirne (Ireland)

21. Hamish Watson (Scotland)

22. Owen Farrell (England)

23. Conor Murray (Ireland )

 

 

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