Fri 30 Jul 2021 | 04:03

The key player on B&I Lions' bench

The key player on B&I Lions' bench
Fri 30 Jul 2021 | 04:03
The key player on B&I Lions' bench
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SPOTLIGHT: British and Irish Lions forwards coach Robin McBryde is confident his team will be able to handle the Springboks’ ‘bomb squad’ in the second Test in Cape Town.

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Bok head coach Jacques Nienaber has opted for the famous six-two split between backs and forwards on the bench for Saturday’s clash.

The Boks had a five-three split in the first Test, which they lost 17-22.

“They will have the same impact they had during the World Cup,” said McBryde.

“We were happy with the way our replacements performed on Saturday [in the first Test].

“They [Lionsโ€™ replacements] negated the impact that their bench had and we will be looking to do the same again.

“They [Boks] will go back to that physical nature, it is what they did in 1974 after losing that first Test.

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“They will get stuck in. I am sure that is what they will be looking to do on Saturday.”

The B&I Lions will have Taulupe Faletau on the bench for the second Test and McBryde believes his versatility could prove to be a big difference in the second half.

“Unfortunately, someone like Hamish Watson has missed out because Taulupe Faletau offers much more versatility off the bench.

“He can cover more than one [position].

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“We are blessed with players of that calibre, who can cover more than one position, so are able to cover our bases.

“To date, I have been spoiled rotten on this tour. We even had a seven-one split in one game.

“I have been satisfied on that front,” McBryde added.

Dan Biggar update

McBryde also gave an update on flyhalf Dan Biggar after he came through the Return to Play protocols.

“Dan Biggar will complete his graduated return to play today [Friday] with his final contact training session ahead of the match on Saturday,” he said, reading from a statement.

“He has been symptom-free since his post-match head injury assessment and has remained symptom-free throughout the process.

“He has been monitored daily by two consultant sports physicians and has also been reviewed by an independent concussion consultant.

“This process had been successfully utilised to allow for independent verification of the medical management and undertaken in all concussion cases during the tour in South Africa to date.”

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