South Africa v British & Irish Lions 1st Rugby Test betting preview, tips 2021

All Blacks v Springboks Test

World champions South Africa and the British & Irish Lions clash in the opening Test at Cape Town Stadium in Cape Town on Saturday evening, July 24.

It has been a long wait for the Springboks, who earlier this month finally played their first Test match since winning the Rugby World Cup in Japan in 2019.

Also read: Best bookies for SA rugby betting

South Africa were far too slick for Georgia in that 40-9 win in Pretoria on July 2, but the Lions (made up of players from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales) will present a much more formidable challenge.

There are many unknowns heading into the first of three Tests this weekend, not the least how will the Springboks be affected by their Covid-19-interrupted build-up, though they received a boost with news this week that inspirational captain Siya Kolisi is clear to play.

The decision was also made to play all three Tests at Cape Town. The second and third Tests were due to be played at Johannesburg’s FNB Stadium and the change is a huge boost for the Lions’ chances of winning the series as it means they don’t have to deal with playing at altitude in Johannesburg, always a challenge for touring teams.

Bookmakers have made the Lions slight favourites for the opening Test, which is understandable given the Boks could hardly have had a more choppy preparation.

But it should not be forgotten the Springboks, All Blacks and Fiji (one Test only) the only teams with a winning record against the Lions.

South Africa have played more Tests than any other country against the Lions and have won 23 of 46 Tests against the Lions, with 17 losses and six draws. The Lions last toured South Africa in 2009, when the Springboks won a bitterly contested series 2-1.

The South African starting XV includes 11 starters from the winning 2019 World Cup final side, and 17 of the team from that night in Japan are in the overall 23.

Continue reading for our free Springboks v Lions betting tips and winner prediction for the First Test on Saturday, July 24. 

Start:6pm local time (5pm London time), July 24
Venue:Cape Town Stadium, Capr Town
Head-to-head odds:South Africa ($2) v Lions ($1.80)
Line betting: South Africa +1.5 ($1.90) v Lions -1.5 ($1.90)

South Africa v Lions 2021 Test rugby series schedule

Test matches
Saturday, July 24: Springboks v Lions, Cape Town 6pm (5pm British and Irish time)
Saturday, July 31: Springboks v Lions, Cape Town 6pm (5pm British and Irish time)
Saturday, August 7: Springboks v Lions, Cape Town 6pm (5pm British and Irish time)

Springboks v Lions First Test teams

South Africa: Willie le Roux, Cheslin Kolbe, Lukhanyo Am, Damian de Allende, Makazole Mapimpi; Handre Pollard, Faf de Klerk; Kwagga Smith, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Siya Kolisi (c), Franco Mostert, Eben Etzebeth, Trevor Nyakane, Bongi Mbonambi, Ox Nche. Replacements: Malcolm Marx, Steven Kitshoff, Frans Malherbe, Lood de Jager, Rynhardt Elstadt, Herschel Jantjies, Elton Jantjies, Damian Willemse.

British & Irish Lions: Stuart Hogg, Anthony Watson, Elliot Daly, Robbie Henshaw, Duhan van der Merwe; Dan Biggar, Ali Price; Maro Itoje, Alun Wyn Jones (c), Courtney Lawes, Tom Curry, Jack Conan, Wyn Jones, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Tadhg Furlong. Replacements: Ken Owens, Rory Sutherland, Kyle Sinckler, Tadhg Beirne, Conor Murray, Owen Farrell, Liam Williams.

Betting tips for Springboks v Lions 1st Test

Our rugby betting expert has assessed the markets and found some value tips:

Springboks to win/match total under 41.5 points

This option should be around $3.70 with most betting sites. While the Springboks go in as underdogs, they are fielding a team with more 500 Test caps between them. This is a powerful side and you can expect them to bring plenty of heat to the rucks.

Makazole Mapimpi to score a try

The flying winger score nearly every time he steps out for the Boks and this should be no different. Check out the odds on game day. We are hoping for somewhere around the $2.30 mark.

Springboks v Lions rugby prediction 24/7/2021

The home team is fielding the exact same back line that delivered a world title. Can we expect the same sort of cohesion from the British & Irish Lions? We don’t think so despite their matches together leading up to this. You can expect the Springboks forwards to be running on empty late in the game but they have the class and discipline to hang on. We just hope there is no repeat of the incident in the Australia-France game last weekend where a player was red-carded for a tackle that did not look close to being illegal. Our final South Africa v British & Irish Lions prediction: Springboks to win by six points.


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