Lions rely on Welsh trio to keep series alive

An all-Wales front row take responsibility for the “Beast” and the fate of the series when the British and Irish Lions meet South Africa in Saturday’s second Test in Pretoria (1300 GMT).

The Lions, who failed to tame prop Tendai “The Beast” Mtawirira in their first-Test defeat and were second-best up front for the opening hour, have responded by making three pack changes plus two in the backs.

A Welsh front row of hooker Matthew Rees and props Gethin Jenkins and Adam Jones, powered by English giant Simon Shaw in the second row, must be competitive if the Lions are to win and keep the three-Test series alive.

“We have made five changes to the starting XV but it will not change the way we want to play,” said coach Ian McGeechan.

“Both teams will be better for the run last weekend and we know we will have to step up our performance to ensure we again take the game to the opposition and take the series into a decider in Johannesburg.”

South Africa have made only one change with the return from injury of flanker Schalk Burger. The hosts will hope the thin air of Pretoria, where they are unbeaten in Tests for three years, will further aid their bid to secure an unassailable 2-0 lead. - Reuters


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