Lions vs South Africa guide: Courtney Lawes will be key, but Lukhanyo Am can match him

The second Test between South Africa and the British and Irish Lions will take place on Saturday after the Lions scored a memorable comeback win in their first meeting.

Warren Gatland’s side lead 1-0 after beating the world champions 22-17 in Cape Town last week and can finish a series win with one game to go.

Before the crucial match Sportsmails NIK SIMON has assessed the form of the players going to the second Test…

The British and Irish Lions face South Africa in the second Test of their tour on Saturday

Sportsmail has ranked both sets of player form going into the crucial game this weekend

Sports post has ranked both sets of player form for the crucial game this weekend

FULL BACK

Willie le Roux (South Africa) – 6

AGE: 31 CAPITALS: 63

Will be attacked with more high balls, but dangerous in the counter attack.

Stuart Hogg (Lions) – 6

AGE: 29 CAPS: 86

Needs to get to grips with a bad pitch if he wants to complete the series win.

WING

Cheslin Kolbe (South Africa) – 6

AGE: 27 CAPS: 15

The best wing in the world but underused in the first test and had few chances.

The Lions must stop Cheslin Kolbe, who is considered one of the world's best wingers

The Lions must stop Cheslin Kolbe, who is considered one of the world’s best wingers

Anthony Watson (Lions) – 7

AGE: 27 CAPS: 55

Looked dangerous on the ball but needs more chances to show off his footwork.

CENTRE

Lukhanyo Am (South Africa) – 8

AGE: 27 CAPS: 16

Fierce speed forced Lions midfield to drop balls and allow turnovers.

Lukhanyo Am's relentless speed forced Lions midfield to drop balls and allow turnover

Lukhanyo Am’s relentless speed forced Lions midfield to drop balls and allow turnover

Chris Harris (Lions) – 7

AGE: 30 CAPS: 28

More defensive than Daly and remarkable rise in his university third XV.

CENTRE

Damian de Allende (South Africa) – 7

AGE: 29 CAPS: 48

Powerful operator showed no signs of rusting after burn recovery.

Robbie Henshaw (Lions) – 7

AGE: 28 CAPS: 53

Must box smartly and not be ambushed by a rush defense on his own half.

WING

Makazole Mapimpi (South Africa) – 6

AGE: 31 CAPS: 15

Causes problems with grubber kicks but needs to get more ball to shine

Duhan van der Merwe (Lions) – 7

AGE: 26 CAPITALS: 11

Must maintain intense kick chase pressure on Kolbe to deny him space.

Scottish winger Duhan van der Merwe (right) also faces a huge test in holding Kolbe down

Scottish winger Duhan van der Merwe (right) also faces a huge test in holding Kolbe down

FLY-HALF

Handre Pollard (South Africa) – 6

AGE: 27 CAPS: 50

Needs to sharpen his goal kicks and improve his territorial kicks.

Dan Biggar (Lions) – 7

AGE: 31 CAPS: 93

Will stick to heavy kicking after passing concussion protocols.

SCRUM-HALF

Faf de Klerk (South Africa) – 8

AGE: 29 CAPS: 31

May come under pressure after finding ways to dodge defenders and boxing kicks.

Faf de Klerk hopes to inspire South Africa to strike back and win the second test

Faf de Klerk hopes to inspire South Africa to strike back and win the second test

Conor Murray (Lions) – 6

AGE: 32 CAPS: 95

Happy to replace Ali Price but will add composure and firm authority.

PROP

Steven Kitshoff (South Africa) – 5

AGE: 29 CAPS: 49

Back in the side after an injury to the Ox, but has not had his dynamism.

Mako Vunipola (Lions) – 7

AGE: 30 CAPS: 74

Rewarded with a start after defusing the ‘bomb squad’ scrum.

WHORE

Bongi Mbonambi (South Africa) – 7

AGE: 30 CAPS: 38

Set the Boxing Intensity default before being put to sleep during rest.

South African Bongi Mbonambi was replaced at the break last week, but set the pace early on

South African Bongi Mbonambi was replaced at the break last week, but set the pace early on

Luke Cowan-Dickie (Lions) – 6

AGE: 28 CAPS: 32

Still the most abrasive option, but he needs to hone his lineout throwing.

PROP

Frans Malherbe (South Africa) – 5

AGE: 30 CAPS: 40

The 20th Giant performed as part of a scrum double act with Kitshoff.

Tadhg Furlong (lions) – 8

AGE: 28 CAPS: 53

Has held his own in the scrum, but needs ways to improve the buy on a sandy pitch.

Tadhg Furlong hopes to show more of his skills in the second showdown

Tadhg Furlong hopes to show more of his skills in the second showdown

SECOND ROW

Eben Etzebeth (South Africa) – 7

AGE: 29 CAPS: 87

Alpha male of the pack will have a point to prove against Itoje.

Maro Itoje (Lions) – 9

AGE: 26 CAPITALS: 52

Delivered one of his finest displays in the second half, without conceding a penalty.

Maro Itoje (left) produced a sparkling performance in the first Test

Maro Itoje (left) produced a sparkling performance in the first Test

SECOND ROW

franco Mostert (South Africa) – 6

AGE: 30 CAPS: 41

Lineout tactician got few opportunities to show his expertise.

Alun Wyn Jones (c) (Lions) – 8

AGE: 35 CAPS: 158

Leadership was spot on. Won the referee’s ear and chose the right moments to attack.

BLIND SIDE

Leaving College (c) (South Africa) – 6

AGE: 30 CAPS: 51

An inspiring leader, but was surpassed by Jones in the first Test.

Courtney Lawes (Lions) – 9

AGE: 32 CAPS: 90

Led physical siege and still hasn’t conceded a maul or pick-and-go try on tour.

Courtney Lawes has yet to admit a maul or pick-and-go try on tour.

Courtney Lawes has yet to admit a maul or pick-and-go try on tour.

NO 8

Pieter-Steph du Toit (South Africa) – 7

AGE: 28 CAPS: 57

Impressive counter-rucking and defense undermined by maul penalties.

Tom Curry (Lions) – 6

AGE: 23 CAPS: 34

Will be in the spotlight after being highlighted in Rassie Erasmus rant.

OPEN SIDE

Jasper Wiese (South Africa) – 7

AGE: 25 CAPS: 1

Proven to be a physical beast at Leicester, but prone to discipline errors.

Jack Conan (Lions) – 7

AGE: 29 CAPS: 21

Unannounced member of the XV but top carrier in the pack last week.

SUBSTITUTES (S Africa)

Malcolm Marx, Trevor Nyakane, Vincent Koch, Lood de Jager, Marco van Staden, Kwagga Smith, Herschel Jantijes, Damian Willemse.

SUBSTITUTES (lions)

Ken Owens, Rory Sutherland, Kyle Sinckler, Tadhg Beirne, Taulupe Faletau, Ali Price, Owen Farrell, Elliot Daly.

TOTAL

South Africa – 97/150

lions – 107/150

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