Sinckler cleared to play as Gatland rings changes for Lions decider

By Sports Desk August 03, 2021

Kyle Sinckler is free to play in the British and Irish Lions' deciding third Test against South Africa on Saturday after a citing for alleged biting against the prop was dismissed.

Lions head coach Warren Gatland has made six changes to the side that lost 27-9 in last weekend's encounter in Cape Town.

Hooker Ken Owens, prop Wyn Jones, scrum-half Ali Price, centre Bundee Aki, wing Josh Adams and full-back Liam Williams all come into the XV.

Wales duo Adams and Williams are likely to have an important role in the back three under the Springboks' kicking game that dismantled the Lions after half-time last time out.

Tight-head prop Sinckler will take his place on the bench alongside fly-half Finn Russell, lock Adam Beard and number eight Sam Simmonds – the three of whom are in Test squad for the first time in the series.

Gatland has axed Owen Farrell Taulupe Faletau, Anthony Watson, Stuart Hogg, Rory Sutherland, Tadhg Beirne and Chris Harris from his 23.

"The matchday 23 have an incredibly special opportunity in front of them - to seal a Lions series victory in South Africa," said the veteran coach.

"It doesn't get much bigger than this and we're excited by the challenge that faces us on Saturday.

"We've no excuses from last week - the Springboks put us under pressure in the second half and deserved the win. We have to be much better than that second-half performance, and I believe we will be."

Sinckler denied allegations that he bit Franco Mostert and World Rugby were unable to find sufficient evidence to punish the England forward, who was facing a minimum 12-week ban.

A statement from the governing body read: "Having reviewed all the evidence, the committee deemed that on the balance of probabilities, it could not be satisfied that the player committed an act of foul play.

"On that basis, the committee dismissed the citing and the player is free to play again immediately."

South Africa are without world player of the year Pieter-Steph du Toit and influential scrum-half Faf de Klerk through injury.

Cobus Reinach comes in for De Klerk while Franco Mostert's switch to blindside flanker means Lood de Jager will partner Eben Etzebeth in the second row.

Veteran fly-half Morne Steyn, whose long-range penalty secured a series triumph for the Springboks over the Lions in 2009, is named on the bench.

 

British and Irish Lions: Liam Williams, Josh Adams, Robbie Henshaw, Bundee Aki, Duhan van der Merwe, Dan Biggar, Ali Price; Wyn Jones, Ken Owens, Tadhg Furlong, Maro Itoje, Alun Wyn Jones (captain), Courtney Lawes, Tom Curry, Jack Conan

Replacements: Luke Cowan-Dickie, Mako Vunipola, Kyle Sinckler, Adam Beard, Sam Simmonds, Conor Murray, Finn Russell, Elliot Daly

 

South Africa : Wille le Roux, Cheslin Kolbe, Lukhanyo Am, Damian de Allende, Makazole Mapimpi; Handre Pollard, Cobus Reinach; Steven Kitshoff, Bongi Mbonambi, Frans Malherbe, Eben Etzebeth, Lood de Jager, Siya Kolisi (captain), Franco Mostert, Jasper Wiese

Replacements: Malcolm Marx, Trevor Nyakane, Vincent Koch, Marco van Staden, Kwagga Smith, Herschel Jantjies, Morne Steyn, Damian Willemse

Related items

  • Australia recall Skelton, Arnold and Latu for northern hemisphere tour Australia recall Skelton, Arnold and Latu for northern hemisphere tour

    Will Skelton, Rory Arnold and Tolu Latu have been recalled to the Australia squad for their upcoming tour of the northern hemisphere.

    The France-based trio were on Friday named in a 37-man party to face Japan at Oita Stadium on October 23 before travelling to Europe to take on Scotland, England and Wales next month.

    Skelton has not played for the Wallabies since 2016, but the towering La Rochelle lock is set to add to his 18 caps.

    Fellow second-rower Arnold, who plies his trade with Toulouse in the Top 14, and Stade Francais hooker Latu have not played for their country since the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

    Lalakai Foketi, Izaia Perese, Pone Fa'amausili and Connal McInerney are the uncapped quartet in the squad.

    Japan-based trio Quade Cooper, Sean McMahon and Samu Kerevi – who has recovered from an ankle injury – were included on the back of Australia's second-placed finish behind New Zealand in the Rugby Championship.

    Dave Rennie's side have won four consecutive games, seeing off world champions South Africa and Argentina twice.

    Head coach Rennie said: "Firstly we're extremely grateful to be able to represent Australia on the world stage in the current environment and that's something that's not lost on this group.

    "We've been building as a squad over the past 18 months or so and to get a chance to head to the northern hemisphere and test ourselves against four really strong International sides is a great opportunity to learn more about ourselves."

     

    Australia squad: Allan Alaalatoa, Rory Arnold, Angus Bell, Quade Cooper, Filipo Daugunu, Pone Fa'amausili, Folau Fainga'a, Lalakai Foketi, Jake Gordon, Reece Hodge, Michael Hooper (captain), Len Ikitau, Feleti Kaitu'u, Andrew Kellaway, Samu Kerevi, Marika Koroibete, Tolu Latu, Rob Leota, Tate McDermott, Connal McInerney, Sean McMahon, James O’Connor, Hunter Paisami, Izaia Perese, Jordan Petaia, Matt Philip, Tom Robertson, Izack Rodda, Pete Samu, Will Skelton, James Slipper, Darcy Swain, Lachlan Swinton, Taniela Tupou, Rob Valetini, Nic White, Tom Wright.

  • South Africa's World Cup-winning captain Kolisi opens up on battle with drinking South Africa's World Cup-winning captain Kolisi opens up on battle with drinking

    South Africa's World Cup-winning captain Siya Kolisi has opened up on his battle with alcohol, strip clubs and pornography.

    The 30-year-old Springboks loose forward captained the side that defeated the All Blacks 31-29 on the Gold Coast on Saturday.

    Kolisi, whose new book 'Rise' is due out later this month, also led South Africa to the 2019 World Cup as skipper, having become the country's first black captain in 2018.

    The 56-cap veteran, who debuted internationally in 2013 as a 21-year-old, revealed the struggles prior to his rise and throughout his career.

    "Some people also know how I was in the past and I’m not a saint at all. I’m a sinner trying to be the best he can be every day," Kolisi told The Guardian.

    "I drank when I was happy or sad, or dealing with something. Drinking was the only way I knew to get through this stuff."

    He added: "Let’s say I’m someone’s role model. The kid will think: ‘I want to be like you one day.’ But he doesn’t know the struggles you face. No one tells him there’s temptation – alcohol, drugs, all these things are available to you.

    "I wish I’d had a mentor that told me you’re going to face these challenges and you must be prepared to fight them.

    "I had to go through the hard way. Now I want to make sure the next kid and his family can read the book and think: ‘How will we prevent that? How will we prepare you for that kind of life?'"

    Kolisi, who is a devout Christian, revealed his gender-typical struggle with articulating himself, using alcohol, strip clubs and pornography to escape his confusion.

    "I didn’t know how to speak for a long time," Kolisi said. "I’m learning as I go along with my wife.

    "We’re five years into our marriage and I’m still learning how to have a proper conversation with her. That’s why I put in [the book] the things I did in the past, some of the vulnerability, so it can tell the true story."

    Kolisi also spoke about his upbringing in Zwide, a township outside of Port Elizabeth, and losing his mother when he was 15, having seen her beaten by men. He has utilised his profile to be an advocate for gender equality.

    "You win the World Cup and get given a platform. [Kolisi's wife] Rachel said: ‘You couldn’t help your mother or your aunt but you can help other women.’ She was right," he said.

    "Gender violence hurts me even if I am a man. I have my own daughter, my wife and my sister. I would never want them to suffer this violence."

    On pornography fueling gender violence, he added: "I’m not a professional so I don’t really want to get into that. But I know it [pornography] was a problem for me. I can’t say more than that."

  • South Africa 31-29 New Zealand: All Blacks denied Rugby Championship Grand Slam in sensational finish South Africa 31-29 New Zealand: All Blacks denied Rugby Championship Grand Slam in sensational finish

    South Africa's Elton Jantjies nailed a last-gasp penalty in a thrilling 31-29 win over New Zealand to deny the All Blacks a Grand Slam at the Rugby Championship.

    Jordie Barrett, whose late kick secured the title in a 19-17 victory over the Springboks last week, looked to have sealed a sixth win from six for New Zealand in similar fashion on the Gold Coast on Saturday.

    That was until Jantjies struck with the final action of an enthralling contest to end a 10-match winning streak for Ian Foster's men.

    Lukhanyo Am's terrific behind-the-back pass led to Damian de Allende's opening try before an exchange of penalties kept South Africa five points ahead.

    New Zealand levelled when Sevu Reece just made the corner after a fine Beauden Barrett kick, and despite another Handre Pollard penalty, the All Blacks were soon in command.

    A fast, flowing move ended with Ardie Savea going over under the posts and Brad Weber added another try two minutes later following a lineout steal.

    Then, momentum shifted. Pollard made no mistake with two more penalties to close the gap to three points, and the Boks were ahead 53 minutes in when Makazole Mapimpi crossed in the corner after the ball was worked from the opposite flank.

    Replacement Jantjies stretched the lead further with another penalty, only after play was brought back following an advantage when Faf de Klerk fumbled at the breakdown barely a metre from the try line.

    Jordie Barrett reduced the arrears as tensions began to build, although the Hurricanes back kept his cool to kick his side into the lead with five minutes left after South Africa were penalised for holding on.

    A gripping finale saw Jantjies sink a brilliant drop goal a minute later only for Jordie Barrett to send another late kick sailing through the posts in what looked like a repeat from a week ago.

    But South Africa came again, a lineout inside the New Zealand 22 leading to a penalty right in front of the posts, from which Jantjies made no mistake.

    Boks rewarded for perseverance

    At risk of a fourth consecutive Test defeat for the first time since 2016, the world champions were rewarded for a bold but clean display in which they refused to allow New Zealand to sustain first-half momentum.

    This was only the second time the All Blacks have lost a Test match in Australia against anyone other than the Wallabies and showed the Springboks' performance in that narrow previous defeat was no flash in the pan.

    All Blacks off the boil

    This was something of an off-day for New Zealand after an exemplary championship, as they yielded both possession and territory surprisingly easily.

    Giving up eight turnovers and losing six rucks overall did not help their cause in a game of fine margins.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.