Rugby-Lions skipper anticipating changes to third test line-up


Rugby Union - Second Test - South Africa v British and Irish Lions - Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town, South Africa - July 31, 2021 British and Irish Lions' Alun Wyn Jones and Rory Sutherland look dejected after the match REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - British & Irish Lions captain Alun Wyn Jones is anticipating changes to their team for the decisive third test against South Africa on Saturday after the tourists lost the second match of series in Cape Town.

The veteran lock said Lions coach Warren Gatland was "notorious" for making changes and there would be an opportunity for players, who had yet to feature in the test series, to make their mark.

"Gats (Gatland) is notorious for making changes and we go ahead. There has been a lot said about the wounded Springbok but the Lions have taken a dent and we need to put it right. There will be opportunity for some and there is a feeling we’ll need to put it right," he said in the wake of the tourists' 27-9 defeat on Saturday.

The result levelled the series at 1-1 and set up a potentially thrilling conclusion next Saturday at the same venue.

"We are well aware of what we need to improve on. They did to us what we probably wanted to do to them. They did it last week, but this time they probably did it better," he said of Saturday’s encounter, where the Lions conceded 21 points in the second half without scoring any.

"I think we probably came second best in the aerial battle and they got momentum from the set pieces, they turned up this week and put us under pressure.

"We probably didn’t help ourselves because parts of the game that were prevalent last week weren’t there this week, particularly in the second half. We are fortunate, we’ve got another week. It’s going to be, obviously, the biggest week of the tour now and it’s a last chance to put it right.

"It will be interesting to see what Gats does with the team," he added.

(Editing by Toby Davis)

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