South Africa vs Lions – THREE KEY CLASHES: Chris Harris will hope his defensive prowess prevails against Lukhanyo Am and Mako Vunipola will look to gain the upper hand over Frans Malherbe again… but Conor Murray vs Faf de Klerk could define second Test
- The Lions could seal an historic series victory over South Africa on Saturday
- Warren Gatland’s squad overcame South Africa 22-17 in the opening Test
- Murray and De Klerk will meet in one of the key individual encounters
- Harris vs Am, and Vunipola vs Malherbe are also huge battles in Cape Town
The second Test between South Africa and the British and Irish Lions takes place on Saturday – and Warren Gatland’s side know they can expect a backlash from the wounded Springboks.
The Lions lead 1-0 after beating the reigning world champions 22-17 in the opening Test, and individual performances are likely to decide once again whether they can secure a famous series victory – after stand-out displays from the likes of Maro Itoje and Courtney Lawes last weekend.
Ahead of a crucial match for both sides, Sportsmail’s NIK SIMON has picked out three key clashes…
The Lions and South Africa meet again in the second Test in Cape Town on Saturday
Conor Murray v Faf de Klerk
The Irish Controller against South Africa’s ‘golden unicorn’ could define the Test.
Murray is back starting after a topsy-turvy tour in which he was named captain, dropped, then re-instated as the scrum-half.
De Klerk is an aggressive, professional nuisance and incredible kicker, so could upset Murray’s rhythm.
Conor Murray (L) is back and will face the task of attempting to contain Faf de Klerk (R)
Chris Harris v Lukhanyo Am
Harris is in for his defensive prowess and bulk, for Elliot Daly who was smashed by Am in the first play of the first Test then never recovered.
Am is not only hugely physical but pacy and a real attacking danger.
Chris Harris (L) should offer defensive resolve for the Lions against likes of Lukhanyo Am (R)
Mako Vunipola v Frans Malherbe
Officiailly, Malherbe is 19st 9lb — but he’s probably a stone heavier than that.
The hunk of South African beef doesn’t move far but is a scrummaging brute, if fit.
Vunipola contained him well off the bench last week. Can he gain the upper hand again?
Mako Vunipola (L) will hope to prevail again when he takes on Frans Malherbe (R) this weekend