South Africa v the Lions: Live updates, TV & stream details for first test of tour

How to watch British & Irish Lions tour on TV

The first test gets underway on Saturday at 5 pm.

The long wait is almost over as the British and Irish Lions take on South Africa at Cape Town Stadium. The first test of the tour starts at 5 pm and here is how you can watch and stream it. You can also follow the match on our live blog. Keep scrolling for updates, TV and stream details and team news.

South Africa v the Lions: How can I watch the game live on TV and stream it?

The British & Irish Lions tour 2021 is been broadcast exclusively live on Sky Sports in the UK and Ireland. Saturday’s first test will be broadcast live on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Action. The match gets underway at 5 pm. Sky customers can stream the match live on their phones and tablets via the Sky Go app. If you are not a Sky subscriber, you can watch South Africa versus the Lions on Now with a day or month pass. For more information, click here.

South Africa v the Lions: How can I watch the game on terrestrial TV and stream it?

For the first time in almost 30 years, Channel 4 is screening the highlights of all three British & Irish Lions test games against South Africa. Highlights of Saturday’s first test will be broadcast on Channel 4 at 11.25 pm on Saturday night and they will also be available on All4.

What is the form of both teams going into the first test?

This year’s Lions tour has been arguably the most unique in history, as every game has and will be played in front of empty stadiums, while the Springboks have played just one test match in the last 20 months. Nonetheless, the three-match test series promises to be an exhilarating contest, which was set up very nicely by the warm-up match between a ludicrously strong South Africa ‘A’ side and the Lions last Wednesday. The tourists’ head coach Warren Gatland will be looking to etch his name into rugby’s history books by becoming the first Lions coach to lead the side in three unbeaten series. The Lions defeated the Wallabies 2-1 in 2013 and drew their series with the All Blacks under Gatland in 2017. While the Lions are the slight favourites to clinch the series, the Springboks are certain to put up an almighty challenge to Gatland’s side, in what will likely be an extremely physical three matches. The South Africans drew first blood on that occasion, but the Lions have been in flying form on tour otherwise, having racked up 230 points in four games against local club opposition. The Springboks have had little game time together since the 2019 Rugby World Cup. But the bulk of that world-conquering side will face the Lions this weekend in the first test match between the two teams in 12 years.

What is the team news?

South Africa named their starting XV on Tuesday, which you can find here. The Lions will name their starting XV on Wednesday, which has been brought forward 24 hours from the original intended announcement.

South Africa v the Lions: Live updates.

You can follow the game live on our live blog below.
Ronan Calvert

Finn Russell could be about to feature in the second Lions test after recovering fom injury.

The Racing 92 playmaker missed Saturday's game in Cape Town with an Achilles injury but according to defence coach Steve Tandy, he has now resumed full training.

The return to fitness comes as extra welcome news considering the question marks hanging over Dan Biggar's availability for the weekend. Welshman Biggar played a key role in the victory over Rassie Erasmus' side but will not train until later in the week after suffering a head injury.

“All being well, Dan should be available to train on Thursday and Finn will start to train with us today,” defence coach Steve Tandy said.

Although the Lions did tremendously well to claim a victory in the first test, you can be sure supporters would be delighted to see the creative Russell add a new dimension to the tourists' attacking play if he gets his chance.

Ronan Calvert

South Africa director of rugby Rassie Erasmus has turned up the heat ahead of the second test by retweeting a tweet from a Twitter account with only 26 followers.

The video which highlights errors made by referee Nic Berry during Saturday's test match was posted at approximately 8pm on Sunday evening.

“Respect your attitude in defeat, but there were some questionable calls. I'll highlight a few,” replied '@thenosyone987' to the Springbok boss.

Most interestingly, the account that Erasmus interacts with has only ever 'liked' South African rugby content and a Munster Rugby match update from 2016.

Next Saturday should be very very interesting.

Ronan Calvert

FT: South Africa 17-22 Lions

The Lions have done it in Cape Town! South Africa looked the superior team in the opening stages but a Luke Cowan-Dickie try and a series of penalty kicks from Dan Biggar allowed the tourists back into the game.

Rassie Erasmus will be hugely frustrated by his own team's discipline but also by the performance of Nic Berry who was inconsistent at best with the whistle.

Captain Alun Wyn Jones, Warren Gatland and the rest of the team won't care however, as they come way with a hard-fought victory against the Rugby World Cup champions.

Man of the Match: Maro Itoje

Ronan Calvert

78' | South Africa 17-22 Lions (Farrell pen)

Ronan Calvert

65' | South Africa 17-19 Lions (Biggar penalty)

South Africa's lack of discipline is crucifying them at the moment as Dan Biggar makes them pay time and time again with his goal-kicking.

All the momentum is in the Lions favour at the moment and Conor Murray, Ken Owens and Hamish Watson coming on is only going to help their cause.

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