sport news Sportsmail's form guide for the Lions' first Test against South Africa on ...

sport news Sportsmail's form guide for the Lions' first Test against South Africa on ...
sport news Sportsmail's form guide for the Lions' first Test against South Africa on ...

The first Test between South Africa and the British and Irish Lions takes place on Saturday after weeks of intense preparations and practice matches. 

Warren Gatland's side have enjoyed a healthy war of words over the past couple of weeks regarding waterboys, biased match officials and overflowing egos, but now it's time to do the talking on the pitch. 

With both sides coming into the series opener in similar form, Sportsmail's NIK SIMON has rated the players' form going into the first Test... 

The British and Irish Lions take on South Africa in the first Test of their tour on Saturday

The British and Irish Lions take on South Africa in the first Test of their tour on Saturday

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Sportsmail has ranked both sets of players' forms going into the series opener this weekend

Sportsmail has ranked both sets of players' forms going into the series opener this weekend

FULL-BACK 

Willie le Roux (S Africa) - 6

AGE: 31 CAPS: 62

Slips in as second playmaker to get ball to Kolbe. Can struggle defensively.

Stuart Hogg (Lions) - 6

AGE: 29 CAPS: 9

Surprise pick. Lacks grit of Liam Williams but dancing feet could cause problems.

WING 

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Cheslin Kolbe - 9

AGE: 27 CAPS: 14

On course to become the world player of the year. Small but savage.

The Lions need to be wary of Cheslin Kobe - who could be named world player of the year

The Lions need to be wary of Cheslin Kobe - who could be named world player of the year

Anthony Watson - 7

AGE: 27 CAPS: 9

Offers the highball skills of a second full back to help nullify aerial onslaught.

CENTRE 

Lukhanyo Am - 7

AGE: 27 CAPS: 15

Once spent time with Saracens as part of a scheme for disadvantaged children.

Elliot Daly - 7

AGE: 28 CAPS: 13

Rediscovered his mojo. Silky touches help transfer the ball to the wingers.

Lions star Elliot Daly has rediscovered his mojo in a central role this summer

Lions star Elliot Daly has rediscovered his mojo in a central role this summer

CENTRE 

Damian de Allende - 6

AGE: 29 CAPS: 47

Battering ram topped the carrying count at the World Cup.

Robbie Henshaw - 6

AGE: 28 CAPS: 6

Short on game time but world-class defensive play in midfield.

WING 

Makazole Mapimpi - 6

AGE: 30 CAPS: 14

Springbok success story came from extreme poverty. Has raw speed.

Duhan van der Merwe - 7

AGE: 26 CAPS: 4

A beast in attack. Faces biggest defensive test of his life against his home nation.

Duhan van der Merwe (right) faces the biggest test of his life against his home nation

Duhan van der Merwe (right) faces the biggest test of his life against his home nation

FLY HALF 

Handre Pollard - 6

AGE: 26 CAPS: 49

Short on match fitness following a serious knee injury and Covid 19.

Dan Biggar - 8

AGE: 31 CAPS: 7

Has developed an attacking edge to complement his

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